Things you might be missing on Netflix

Hi,

At this point, I’m pretty sure almost every man, woman and dog has used Netflix at some part of their life. Whether it’s been for just the free trial or as a dedicated subscriber, the streaming site is a blessing when it comes to avoiding boring Saturday night TV and annoying adverts every 5 minutes.

As we already know, Netflix stream hugely popular television and films from Hollywood production companies such as Breaking Bad, Suits and Peaky Blinders, which all have cult followings. However, Netflix also produce their own content that has proved to be wildly popular and challenges the global broadcasting giants. These shows include Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things and most recently, Queer Eye.

However, as talked about these shows and films are, not all content on Netflix is given the same amount of publicity. I filtered through some of my favourite shows on Netflix that may have gone under the radar but are well worth the watch!

 

The Get Down

get-down

I’m going to start off with my favourite find ever on Netflix…The Get Down. When the show first premiered on Netflix, I believe it had amazing press reviews and still I had no real intention of watching. For no particular reason either. It wasn’t until I realised that the show was the brainchild of Baz Luhrmann aka. the genius behind Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby and Romeo + Juliet, that I thought I’d give it a watch. My god, what a sensational show!

Based in 1970’s South Bronx, the story follows Ezekiel, a young teen with a talent for poetry and words who finds himself in an unlikely friendship with a aspiring DJ and part time criminal, Shaolin Fantastic. The pair begin to produce music together and form ‘The Get Down Brothers’. The show incorporates love, youth, friendship, betrayal and the struggles of the Bronx.

I can’t praise this show enough, the musical talent is insane and the characters are easy to love. I’m devastated they’re not doing another season.

Easy

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Now, here’s a show I bet you’ve either never heard of/heard little about. If you didn’t catch the show on it’s release then there’s a good chance you won’t even know it exists because no one really talks about it!

Easy is one of those, super-easy, stick it on whilst you’re having brekkie kind of programmes. However, it does have quite a bit of nudity so if you have little one’s it’s maybe not the breakfast show for you!

Easy is a series that covers all sorts of relationships and their issues, whether romantically or sexual. Each episode brings a new scenario with new people, with a select handful of couples making a return for the second series. Definitely worth a watch!

 

GLOW

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Although I’ve seen quite a lot of advertisement for GLOW, I’ve not seen many people raving about it, which I don’t understand because it’s fantastic.

GLOW, Glamorous Ladies of Wrestling, is a TV series based in the 80s which features a bunch of struggling, aspiring actresses who join the cast of a brand new TV programme where women wrestle. A popular concept or the era.

I found it so easy to get attached to the characters and the second series is just as enjoyable as the first. Girl Power!

 

Santa Clarita Diet

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If you’re into weird, out there programmes, then this one is for you!

Drew Barrymore plays a happy go lucky, real estate agent who lives a peaceful, simple life until one day contracts a disease which transforms her into a flesh-eating zombie. The show follows how her character finds human food, by help from her devoted husband and daughter, all whilst trying to find a cure.

The show is quite strange and gruesome, but the light-hearted humour makes the story enjoyable and hilarious.

 

That’s all from me,

Thanks,

Chanel

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Viking Digital Photography Masterclass with Elouisa Georgiou

Hello,

In a week full of firsts: England winning their first ever penalty shootout at a World Cup, the first ever successful double hand transplant in the UK and the first time Georgia had her heartbroken on national TV show, Love Island (we love you gal!). I attended my first ever blogging event!

With only starting my blog at the beginning of the year, I was absolutely overjoyed when I received an email inviting me to a bloggers event in Newcastle. Me? Little Nel? Getting an invite to mingle with other bloggers and learn useful tips? I’m there!

I’m not going to lie…I was bricking it. I spent the week running up to the event worrying about feeling the odd one out, panicking that no one would like me and the biggie, I knew no one on a personal/friendly level. However, when I arrived at the venue, I bumped into Ruby and Helena, who were more than lovely and allowed me to tag along with them.

The lovely team at Viking teamed up with professional photographer Elouisa Georgiou to create a Digital Photography Masterclass at The Botanist. A gorgeous venue, that was ideal for us bloggers who love a good picturesque environment! The masterclass was based around teaching us how to look more carefully at camera settings, lighting and the ways we can alter aspects of a set up to get the prime shot.

Firstly, as we all sat with complimentary prosecco in hand (massive brownie points to the genius behind the free booze), Elouisa talked us through some of the basics of manual photography, an area that was completely alien to me as I usually just stick my camera on auto and hope for the best. Talking about ISO, aperture and shutter speed, it allowed us to get a sense of how to change our settings depending on the light, the motion of the subject and shooting products in the foreground and background.

After the talk, we were encouraged to try some of the things we’d been taught for ourselves. Chatting to fellow bloggers Niamh, Rachael, and Cat, we soon found out that none of us really had any idea how to use our cameras or where to even begin.

The first task we had were flatlays. I think most bloggers dream of having dreamy flat lays of beautiful products and food but the reality is, it’s a faff if you don’t know what you’re doing and can’t get a nice result. Elouise really helped with understanding how to frame the photos and how to use my camera to increase the quality of the shot. I’ll definitely be giving flatlays for of a go with my newfound flatlaying confidence!

We also played about with bounce boards and prisms to manipulate light and eradicate shadows. I’d honestly never thought about adding different textures and light flares to my images to make them more interesting, but after having seeing some of the other bloggers photography with the use of prisms, I’ll be trying it out!

Once we’d had our fun, we all sat down for some delicious food and a cocktail on the house whilst our photos were being printed for Elouisa to judge. I loved hearing all the different conversations of how varied people’s lives are but we all found our way to blogging as a hobby and outlet.

Elouisa then chose her winner of the photography competition, it was time to say goodbye! We were all given a tips and tricks sheet running over everything that had been said so we could practise at home and we even got given a tripod as a pressie!

Thank you to Viking and Elouisa for the invite and being so welcoming.

I had the best night with lovely people in a gorgeous surrounding and learned so much about photography and camera settings that I hope and pray can help me improve my photos. Watch this space!

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

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Struggling with Adult Acne

Hello everyone,

It’s been such a long time since I’ve written on my blog. I explained in my last post that I wouldn’t be posting until I had my Twitter account unlocked as it is my main blogging tool. However, I’ve been pining to get back to writing and the fact of the matter is, I can’t wait any longer! So here I am to talk about something that has affected me since I hit my late teens/adult years.

During my teenage years, when acne is present amongst pretty much everyone your age, I really didn’t have too much trouble with my skin. I was very lucky and only had the occasional spot with nothing too worrying. For a long time, I was insanely grateful to my skin as not only am I a redhead, I also wear glasses and the thought of acne in my teen years turned me into the typical bully victim we all know and love depicted on screen and in books.

It wasn’t until I turned 19, where I started noticing my skin wasn’t cooperating with me as much as it previously had done. The one place where I seemed to be getting recurring spots was my chin. At first, I thought it was the makeup I was using as I had recently changed my beauty routine. My mother thought it might be because I was using too much skincare, which she still blames today.

As the spots became more frequent, they also began to change in appearance. From little red marking to huge cystic under the skin boils which would be extremely painful and have left me scarred as a result.

Over the last few years, I’ve used multiple products claiming to aid in the fight against acne. I honestly can’t explain how many scrubs, face masks, serums, moisturisers, oils, strips, I’ve been through. I’ve used EVERYTHING. For the most part nothing has really helped.

Last year, I decided to take things to the GP. The option I had been dreading. I don’t like treating my body with medicine unless it is absolutely necessary and would much rather try and find a more natural remedy.

The GP explained that acne on the chin is caused by an imbalance of hormones that occured in a great deal of women and that using a hormone balancing drug would help my skin return to normal.

She put me on Limecycline, a huge sized tablet that I couldn’t take. I’m terrible at taking tablets to begin with and this was my worst nightmare. I cried for a good 45 minutes before hopping onto google and searching if there were any alternatives.

Instead of taking the medication, I found a natural oil, Evening Primrose Oil. The tablets came in different sizes and were all from an organic source. I purchased some from Holland & Barrett and started taking them immediately.

It took a little while before I began to see any results but there were differences to my skin. The cystic spots were smaller and smaller each time my skin flared up. I stayed on Evening Primrose Oil for a good 10 months before deciding that I wanted to give my body a break and see what would happen to my skin.

Mistake.

The acne came back. At this point, I was so fed up that I went to see my GP again and she instead put me on an antibiotic cream. I used the cream when I seen my skin was flaring up and it definitely helped.

Now I’m at a place where I’m not 100% happy with my skin, I still have the odd flare up and I have a lot of texture/scarring on my skin but I don’t get cystic boils anymore and that’s good enough for me.

My confidence is still controlled by how my skin looks though and I’m working my way to feeling more comfortable in myself and realising that I’m not the only one with skin concerns which is a more complicated concept to believe than you may think.

I try not to use as many products on my skin now. If I feel like my skin is flaring up, I’ll use a little tea tree oil and hope for the best.

This post was inspired by Joe Sugg’s video on his adult acne which he posted a few months ago on his Youtube Channel that has made me think ever since about how I look at my own skin journey. You can watch the video here.

I decided to talk about my struggle with acne as I want to hopefully find a permanent solution to my skin concerns and when I do, I’ll be writing about everything I’ve tried during the process.

If you’re reading this and also struggle with acne of any type, you’re not alone and there will be a solution out there for you. It might take a little while to find it and it’s hard not to be impatient when you’re trying so many different products and routines and watching thousands of Youtube videos! Trust me, I’ve been there!

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

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Tomato Soup Cupcakes Recipe

Happy Easter!

Over the last few days my social media feeds have been brimming with baking goodies, from Easter mini egg cakes to Creme Egg brownies and I’ve definitely been bitten by the bake off bug.

Instead of going with the traditional recipes, I decided to try something a little bit different and I spotted this Tomato Soup Cupcake recipe in my The Hummingbird Bakery book and thought why not give it a go.

DSC00506
in The Hummingbird Bakery ‘Life is Sweet’ book

I know what you’re all thinking…that is disgusting Chanel, why would you even want to eat such a monstrosity! However, the book describes the taste as a ‘kind of carrot-cake’ flavour and I completely agree, you can definitely taste the slightly spiced resemblance.

Here is what you’ll need:

Ingredients

Cupcakes: 

  • 115g (4oz) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 285g (10oz)  Caster Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 270g (9 1/2oz) Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 60ml (2oz) Water
  • 295g (10 1/2oz) Tin of Condensed Cream of Tomato Soup
  • 18 muffin cases

Frosting:

  • 100g (3 1/2oz) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 240g (8oz) Full-fat Cream Cheese, cold
  • 400g (14oz) Icing Sugar
  • Ground cinnamon for sprinkling on top!

The recipe says it makes 18 but I managed to get 21 out of the batch and was left over with loads of icing too!

STEP ONE:

  • Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F)/ Gas mark 4

STEP TWO:

  • Line the muffin tin with the muffin cases

STEP THREE:

  • Use a freestanding mixer with paddle attachment or a hand held electric mixer, cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy (the recipe recommends mixing for 5 minutes on a medium-high speed)

STEP FOUR: 

  • Pop the eggs in one at a time, on a lower speed and making sure you have all the mix from the side of the bowl

STEP FIVE:

  • In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients (plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, allspice, cinnamon and cloves) and then mix into the wet ingredients. The recipe says to mix on a low speed but I thought my mixer’s lowest speed was still too fast so I just used a wooden spoon to mix.

STEP SIX:

  • Add the water and the condensed soup to form a batter (the smell is extremely strange and off putting so bare with it)

STEP SEVEN: 

  • Spoon the mixture into the cases until about 3/4’s full and bake for 20 minutes. Leave to cool when on a wire rack.

 

LEAVE TO COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE PUTTING ON THE FROSTING OTHERWISE IT’LL JUST SLIDE AND MELT OFF.

STEP EIGHT:

  • To make the frosting, beat the butter and then add the cream cheese and icing sugar. Mix slowly to begin with otherwise the sugar will spill everywhere. Then mix on high speed for three minutes to create a creamy texture.

STEP NINE:

  • Pipe the icing onto the cupcakes and sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon.
The final product

These cupcakes are delicious and not dry at all, I was worried when mixing in the soup that the consistency looked too thick but they baked beautifully and have been gobbled up by my family.

Special thanks to Tarek Malouf for making this inventive recipe which was definitely an experiment as well as a baking venture. You can check out his website here or you can purchase The Hummingbird Bakery, “Life is Sweet” recipe book here.

If you want to read my previous blog post you can find it here

Thanks for reading!

Chanel

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Better than GHDs? Cloud Nine Hair Straighteners Review

Hello,

Sorry I’ve been a little MIA these last two weeks but I unfortunately had to deal with the passing of a family member which has been very upsetting and I’ve needed the time to support my loved ones.

Today I bring you a new topic that I’ve yet to explore on this blog which is all about hair! Now I am not the best with my hair, I have thick, long auburn hair which is a nightmare to style without professional help so I usually just straighten it and that’s about as far as my skills stretch.

I used to have naturally curly hair but with years of straightening and blow drying my hair,  I’m left with a sort of frizzy mane with the occasional kink.

I’ve always been a huge fan of GHDs and used their products since I was in high school and I wasn’t really aware of a brand which topped GHDs in terms of quality and popularity. Until my parents bought me a pair of Cloud Nine straighteners for Christmas.

Cloud Nine? Who are they?

Cloud Nine are a haircare and styling brand which was developed by the creator of GHDs, Robert Powls. Launched in 2009, the brand pride themselves on allowing their clients to adapt their tools to cater for their own hair needs. The ceramic and smart technology used in the products promote healthier and happier hair, which sounds ideal to me! Cloud Nine don’t just stop at straighteners, they also have a curling wand, revolutionary heated rollers and a super savvy hairdryer.

The Review: The Touch Iron

The straightener I have is The Touch Iron which was developed in 2015 and claims to be the world’s fastest heating straighteners and they’re definitely not lying! The blades take seconds to heat up and all you have to do is tap them together to get instant heat.

I used a little bit of oil through my hair before blow drying and then sprayed all over with a heat protecting spray in preparation, just to try and keep my hair as less damaged as possible.

Here is my hair before I used The Touch Iron:

 

and after a quick 15-20 minutes of straightening, my hair looked so much sleeker:

My favourite feature on these straighteners are how quick and easy it is to change the temperature from 195°C to 165°C for anyone with finer hair, by clicking the blades together three times.

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The Touch Iron is only £115 which is in the same price range as the typical GHDs but I’m already seeing the benefits from using Cloud Nine, especially in terms of my hair feeling healthier and less damaged.

If you want to find out more about Cloud Nine or The Touch Iron then you can find their product range at https://www.cloudninehair.com/ 

Thanks for reading,

Chanel

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