26 February 2017

Black Peppercorn Pancake Recipe | Food

Pancake day is just around the corner guys and come up with my own twist on an adventurous pancake recipe. So today I'm sharing with you a Black Peppercorn with Black Cherry sauce Pancakes! 

Before we even get started we have to get the basics right like having all the utensils to make the perfect pancakes, I'm using the 24cm Green Pan* but you can check out Debenham's cookware here which is a really sturdy based pan and typically speaking I tend to judge the quality of a pan by the weight and the thickness of the base. You will also need a whisk, a sieve and a ladle 

Moving onto the goodies I used a recipe for Fluffy American pancakes which can be found on BBC and the cherry recipe I found on this site but I think you can use anything fruit a sweet for this recipe so just put whatever you want on. 


  • 135g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 130ml milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp melted butter (allowed to cool slightly otherwise it'll scramble your egg) plus extra for cooking
  • Toni's ingredient - 2 tbsp Black Pepper 


Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and caster sugar into a mixing bowl. Then in a measuring jug whisk together the milk and egg, then whisk in the melted butter.Then simply pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix until you have a smooth batter. Add a little butter to the frying pan and get it on a medium heat, get a ladle of the mixture and add a little pool of the mixture to the centre until you start seeing bubble appear on the surface and that's when you can flip it over - it should be about 1cm thick.

Put the pancakes on a plate, pour the sauce over the top and enjoy!!! The reason why I added the peppercorn is because I like the hot with the sweet, that fiery pepper and the sweetness of the cherries works really well. In fact you can add any kind of sweet topping such a blueberrys, strawberries, it's a playful mix of sweet and hot! Plus it's a little more adventurous than the standard pancakes with syrup! 

How do you like your pancakes?

*PR Sample
22 February 2017

Holy Grail Skincare Products | Beauty

Skincare Products

Oh boy am I happy to be back in the UK and with all my fave beauty skincare products! Today I am going to have a little chat about my top 3 holy grail products. 

To give you guys a bit of background, my skin is awful! I don't mean spots, Roaccutane thankfully fixed that but the scarring I am left with is ugly, I have an old face which is a little sad but without having a skin peel or something similar there isn't a great deal I can do about it. My skin is still a little temperamental so I really try not to do too much too it but I have got into a really great skincare routine which is working really well at the moment. 

Let's start with my fave cleanser which is the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish , I just find that this product is so gentle on my face and immediately my skin looks fresh and and more mattifed (is that even a real word?) The only thing that annoyed me a little is the scents of these products, I'm not a fan of the original one and I don't even love the Rose and Lavender that much which is a shame but it does a really nice job so I am happy to over look it. 

Secondly we have a new little fave, which is a bit of a surprise to me because I wasn't expect to love this face mask as much as I do. I recently wrote about my first impressions on the L'Oreal Pure Clay Purity Mask , in the post I actually have a little moan because I wanted the detox mask but I can say after a few weeks of using it I'm actually really surprised how it has improved my skin. I really didn't think it would do much but it definitely has reduced some of the blemishes I had or at least helped them look less harsh. Super impressed with that little face mask. 

Finally we have my most BELOVED product which are the Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Facial Pads though as you can see I have been using them for quite some time but when I moved out to Florence you just couldn't get them so I stopped using and oh my god, I had completely forgotten how good they were. I bought these in Superdrug as they were on a Buy One Get One Free which is bloody great because they are on the slightly higher end of the high street but they are SO worth it! They really help to reduce scars, pore and evens out my skin, seriously if you have a few acne scars or would like to make the appearance of your skin a bit smoother you need to check these out! 

There we have my top 3 holy grail skincare products! What are yours?  

19 February 2017

Healthy Habits | Lifestyle

Healthy Habits

Guys, I have got a new job, but I actually work a lot from home, which of course is fab, I mean no awful commute into London and I get to wear face masks whilst I write emails.However as soon as I started my new job, I knew I had to quickly sort out my eating habits because I love to snack and if I am in a house full of temptation then I'm just gonna get a bit fat. So here are some tips for keeping healthy when working from home...

Drink water
I mean, obviously!! But in all honesty I think water is a really big thing to me, I tend to snack absentmindedly when the reality is I don't actually need something to eat, it's actually thirst! I also like to drink lots of water because I feel like it flushes all the toxins out of my body, which I'm not sure if that's actually true, but it makes me feel better. 

Plan your meals
I know what I am having for lunch and dinner each day! I frickin' love a routine so if I know I have a chicken soup for lunch and fish for dinner. Also it makes me excited because I know what's coming up. When you haven't done any planning you run the risk of eating something that is quick or easy like a take away or just some mircowave meal 

Snack wise
Apples...the magic of apples! I have been saying this for years, I love an apple! They are refreshing and surprisingly filling because they are such high in fibre so it's just like the perfect little snack! 

Break bad habits
Now is the time to really reduce the amount of processed food in your body! I don't mean cut it out completely but just reduce it, you'll notice the difference so quickly. Another thing to consider is the amount of food and I'm not talking calories, just sheer volume. The thing is you have to remember that working from home you are doing far less activity than what you would usually do, so you don't actually need to eat the same amount as you did previously. I think it's all about being mindful! 

Allow a little treat
There is no way I can give up chocolate, it isn't gonna happen because I don't want to, I love the stuff! This being said I do reduce the amount of chocolate I eat in a week! When I was in Florence I got into a really bad habit of eating quite a lot of chocolate a day, I kind of had to wean myself off it a bit. Some weekends I have noodles from my local noodle bar and share a side or whatever but I'm not gonna demonise myself for this because the majority of my week has been good! 

What are your healthy habits?
15 February 2017

Buying a Designer Bag | Fashion

Designer Handbags

All of a sudden Luxury bags seem to be accessible for everyone, you know what I am talking about. We spend so much time on social media and how frequently do we see that perfectly placed Gucci or Chloe bag in an OTTD? I think because these designer bags are in our face all the time, it becomes something that everyone wants and in some cases gets. 

Today I just want to go through a few tips that someone may find useful when looking for their first or next investment purchase of a designer handbag. Slight disclaimer, I don't have many I have 2, I have the beautiful Gucci Dionysus and a cute Mulberry Small Lily bag, but luxury fashion is something I am passionate about so here we go...

What brands do YOU like? 
I think it's really easy to look on social media and see the same bags that every blogger is promoting and you kind of get swayed into thinking that's the one you like. There are a lot of multibrand retailers like NAP or Farfetch or Mytheresa that tend to sell the most popular items but I would say have a look at the Brands actual website first. You have to remember that on the retailer websites they have a curated selection of the brand, go to Gucci for example, see the whole l range because you might see something you actually like more that not everyone will have. 

Sales, Sales, Sales!
January is by far the best time to look for these little gems. Of course it would be wonderful if we could buy designer at full priced all the time but you can be savvy about these things. For example, I have loved the Mulberry Lily bag for quite some time but wouldn't buy it at full price. Mulberry is actually going through a little rebrand which means the cute little Mulberry Tree is gone to be replaced with the rather simplistic logo of Mulberry, this means some stock has to go. So in the January sale I found a lot of gorgeous bags reduced to great prices, it would also appear that the new versions of the Lily will not have the silver hardware so you best believe that little baby was in the sale. Always check the sales. 

Have a look in person! 
This one can be a little tricky if you don't live close to a luxury boutique or whatever but for example, if I hadn't seen the Gucci in real life I would never have purchased it, in real life it's a bloody work of art. On the other hand, I bought the small Lily online and it was a little smaller than I anticipated but still so versatile and I am still so happy anyway but there is always that risk with buying online.  Also, if you go in store you can try it on and see how it looks on you and where it sits on your body.

Perfect for you!
People will always have their opinions which is great, but if you are thinking about spending this kind of money then you really need to be 100% happy with it. I don't like gold hardware, I only wear silver or white gold jewellery so there is no point in me buying a bag with gold hardware. Also, I can't stand bags with huge logos, at lot of Saint Laurent ones have it emblazoned on the front and I just would never buy a bag with that, it's a bit flash for me. My motto is, if you know it's a designer bag then you know, if you don't, then it doesn't matter.

Look after it! 
The wonderful thing about designer bags is that almost all of them come with a dust bag so always, always put it in at night or after you have used it. The reality is that you probably aren't gonna wear your designer bag every damn day so pop the stuffing back in, wrap it in it's little dust bag and it will be perfect for when you do want to use it. Also think about the material the bag is made out of, my Gucci one is suede, suede does not wear well so if it looks like it's gonna rain all day probably best not to take it out. My Mulberry is grained leather which means it should wear quite well but is a Taupe colour so I'm aware that dye from black jeans MAY run onto it. 

The highstreet does some really nice dupes at far more affordable prices but if you are like me and don't like dupes and are happy to save your little pennies for an eternity  then you crack on dear! 

What was your first luxury purchase? 
12 February 2017

How to get a new job | Lifestyle


As you will know, I quit my job last year and returned back to the UK without having another one lined up. Today I just wanted to give some tips that some people my find helpful, obviously your CV is the most important thing but I think the below tips can help in the way you attack looking for a job if you are unemployed. Starting with...

Your mindset...
So you don't have a job, that doesn't mean you stay in bed until noon watching Jeremy Kyle. You need to act as if you still have a job, get up, have a coffee, have some breakfast, turn your laptop on and start searching. "Looking for a job" is your new job. New jobs are added daily, be aware of what going on, email the recruiters and be available

Industry Aware...
Are you looking for a job in the fashion industry? Does the health or food vertical interest you? Then sign up to industry related newsletter and websites. This will mean that even though you aren't working you are still keeping your mind active and engaged in the industry you care about. You never know if something you read two days ago might be used in an interview it could show you know what you are talking about. 

Your phone...
It literally needs to be on you all the damn time! I am known for having my phone on mute all the time but I found it is so important to have your phone set to loud because you can hear it ringing and can pick it up. Also, when I get a call from an unknown number that could be a recruiter I always answer "Hello, Toni speaking" it cuts out the ambiguity and question over whether the recruiter has the right number or whatever, gets straight to the point

Work with recruiters...
I know some recruiters are bloody awful and send over jobs that just aren't right but there are some fantastic ones. I would say look on LinkedIn, the really big companies don't have time to recruit so they outsource it so you need to be speaking to those guys. If you work on specific channels or areas of marketing, most recruiting agencies there will be a person who actively recruits for that channel as well so don't be afraid to mention in your email which specific area you want a job in they can always redirect you to the right person. However, always continue to apply for jobs that aren't through recruiters as well because you just never know. 

Be honest...
About your expectations, about your salary, about what you want. I know salary can be a little tricky but after a while you start learning what the industry standard is and you know what you're asking for is fair. When you receive a job spec make sure you read all of the details and be honest with whether you think you can actually do it! 

Be prepared...
I found out that a lot of roles these days expect a lot, a huge amount before they offer you a job. Many require presentations where they will not give you any details or stats just that you have to do a presentation on strategy for the year or quarter. I do think this is unrealistic but I would suggest creating a template of general strategy so that when it is asked you just have to tweak it a little and do it. I completed a 10 page presentation that I didn't even use but at least it was there in case I did.  

There we have just a few tips to keep you focused on finding a new job, there are loads out there you just have to keep you head up, your mind focused and keep applying. 

Do you have any tips for finding a new job? 

8 February 2017

Batiste XXL Plumping Powder | Beauty

Batiste XXL Plumping Powder

Today we are having a chat about the small but mighty Batiste XXL Plumping Powder. I'm telling you now guys, if you hair is a bit flat and a bit meh, you're gonna need to try this little pot out. 

I was in Boots having my weekly browse and remembered I needed some dry shampoo so you know wandered to the isle and noticed it was on a buy one get one free across the whole Batiste range when I spotted the XXL Plumping Powder. One thing you need to know about my hair is that it is bloody fine! It's not that I don't have a lot of it, I do, but each strand is very thing so it looks super flat which I have hated more and more recently. I have tried a LOT of shampoos and conditioners claiming to work wonders, it's all crap, they don't work so i just gave up and cracked on with my normal hair regime. That was until I saw this little beauty! I haven't really tried any kind of hair styling powder before but I have definitely heard of it, so I thought I may as well give it a go. 

It's quite odd because it's a very fine powder like a bit of talc, but basically you shake a bit of it into the roots of your hair, give it a little rub, brush and style your hair an your done. Do not go crazy with it at little goes a VERY long way. It's quite odd because it makes your hair super gritty which gives a really nice lift to your hair but if you use a lot I am telling you now you will not be able to run your fingers through it. it gives you a back comb lift without actually having to backcomb your hair. Even waking up the next day, my hair still kinda looks ok which never happens for me. The problem I have now though is that when I don't use the XXL Plumping Powder, my hair looks so meh and boring so I find myself using it more and more. 

Batiste's XXL Plumping Powder really is a bit of a game changer for the people with flat hair, I think you could use it to create some really nice styles but I tend to use it a little more causally giving me a bit of "oomph" if I am going to see a pal, or going out for dinner.

What are you fave products for adding more volume to your hair?

5 February 2017

MEATliquor, London | Food

MEATliquor Food

MEATliquor Burger

I'm getting hungry just looking at this food, of course today I am going to talk about my experience with MEATliquor in London. I will apologise for the picture quality, but the MEATliquor restaurants are dark as anything so I had to use my flash but I still wanted to share it with your guys anyway! 

As you know I am back in the UK and loving life, I recently met up with my pal Alisha after she finally came back from her travels around Vietnam and we needed a bloody big catch up so we went to get some food. Alisha is the pal I'm gonna explore different restaurants with around London, we both love different cuisines so she is like the perfect partner. As you can see we kinda went all out in MEATliquor and ordered pretty much everything, but you have to indulge every now and then, obvs!  

So let's have a chat about the actual food, we both ordered burgers each and I had the Tower Block Burger which was a fired chicken fillet, with cheese, slaw, jalapeƱos, onions, Russian sauce (no idea what that was, but it was nice) and a hash brown! That's a lot of burger and it was literally built like a tower, I could barely eat it. The chicken was cooked so well and wasn't dry or too crispy. For sides we shared, fried pickles which has THE yummiest Blue Cheese Sauce, fried mac and cheese and some fries. I loved the fried mac and cheese, but i mean, what's not to love? The fried pickles were also bloody nice but they were a little big so when you bit into them the pickle would strip out of the batter so you were kinda left with just the battered shell, but it was still nice. The fries we perfectly thin and crisp and as you can see a bloody massive portion which is perfect for sharing really. 

We also had cocktails and I tell you what they are delicious, they had kind of unusual flavour combinations but worked so damn well. I had the Bristol Fizz which had vodka, with pear, strawberry and lemon juice with a little bit of fizz o top it up and it went down bloody well. 

The atmosphere at MEATliquor is like SUPER relaxed, the waiters and waitresses are very chilled and not at all intrusive when taking your order, the decor is very trendy with a kinda Hoxton/Shoreditch kinda vibe. They don't have napkins, they just have paper on a roll, like kitchen roll. You can't book a table for parties smaller than 6 so you just rock up and hope for the best, but as it is so causal I image it's not too hard to get a table. 

Overall, the food was great, the drinks were great, it was the perfect way to have a relaxed but foodie catch up with a pal. 

Have you been to MEATliquor?

1 February 2017

Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara | Beauty

Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara

Hypnose Drama Mascara

Yep, we have another Lancome Mascara post today. If you have read my beauty post last week I was talking all about the Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes mascara and you'll know that whilst I liked it it didn't give me enough impact. Well today we are talking about the Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara, now this sounds a bit of me doesn't it? 

As you can see from the picture, the Hypnose Drama mascara has quite an unusual brush in the sense it has this kind of weird curve to it. I'm not gonna lie, it took me a while to get used to it. I have used similar brushes before like the Benefit Roller Lash which has quite a curve to it but the Hypnose Drama one is a bit different. Plus it isn't just a plastic brush, it does have bristles too so the first few times of using it I wasn't really a fan. This said, I am not a quitter when it comes to beauty products, so I bloody cracked on with it, plus at like £24.00 it's hardly the cheapest thing. 

Personally, I think the thing that doesn't help with this product is that the little rubber ring thing that is used to remove some excess product isn't great for this brush, because is the weird curve it's probably a little wider than what it could be which means it goes on heavy on the lashes. When I remove some of the excess on the top of the tube, it actually makes for a much easier application then we are working with something I really love. Hypnose Drama is very different to the Doll Eyes mascara, it really coats the lashes and gives it the volume and drama I so desperately need, it really fans my lashes out as well so actually it's pretty good. 

I will point out that it doesn't wear as well as it''s counterpart, I find it crumbles quite easily and you get a little rubbing of the product underneath the low lash line which is really odd because I never put mascara on my lower lash line anyway so it's fractionally annoying! This said, other than that I really like this mascara but I doubt I would purchase it again! I think I'm gonna opt for something more purse friendly and see what the high street is saying these days. 

What are your mascara recommendations?