Baking Essentials: Mason Cash

This Spotlight Series is focussed on British kitchenware brand, Mason Cash. If you know your way around the kitchen then perhaps their products are old favourites for you. Don't fret though, you're forgiven if you aren't yet seasoned with the iconic brand—there's still time to be schooled and have your kitchen properly stocked with Cash quality.  

Mason Cash has been producing ceramic kitchenware since the 1800's with purposeful functionality and innovation at its core. The acclaimed brand is a household name within the UK, and especially known for their original mixing bowls. 

One thing that this cookware does is evoke memories of many inviting kitchens that I've spent time in, namely helping my grandmother in the countryside as a child or moments whilst watching my mum bake in her open farmhouse kitchen. Whether you're a burgeoning baker or seasoned cook, Mason Cash has options in abundance to suit your colourful desires and kitchen cookery needs.  

You'll find collections, such as the Hacienda range, which blends retro colours of the 60s with kitchen prep items and ovenware. Other offerings include modern blends of their mixing bowls and classic kitchen bakeware with colourful ranges that are perfectly suitable for any baking enthusiast, or basically any stylish foodie who loves to cook and entertain.

Here, I've integrated vintage and contemporary kitchen styling elements and tested out everything from the ceramic teapot and cappuccino set to the glazed mixing bowl (which I highly recommend). This collection combines aged elements with refinement. We've put these products to the test and they definitely did not disappoint. 

The large mixing bowl will hold all of your wet or dry ingredients with ample room for blending. And, for those needing referential measurements, you will be happy to know that the pastry board comes with both metric and imperial conversions printed on the tempered glass. 

We've had a great batch of beetroot this season, so I decided to use that and make some vegetable and feta pasties, in addition to homemade mixed berry puddings and pies with a succulent flaky double crust. The innovative pastry brush is an all-in-one tool, it has versatile uses be it for basting, whiskingor pie crimping.

If you are fond of nature, the In The Forest line will strike your fancy as it's influenced by 19th Century folk tales and embossed with forest scenes. The Varsity collection that I am featuring here takes inspiration from old English University towns. It's an earthenware range that marries practicality with style. Displayed in navy and cream colour, it is chip-resistant and will store very well in any size kitchen. 

With centuries of experience creating premium goods, the company has triumphed with the challenge of designing pieces to give your kitchen a modern aesthetic, and without compromising on quality or tradition. I've included an exclusive curated list of my favourites for you below, so do check them out and visit the entire collection and tell me what is your favourite item?

Have you used Mason Cash products? What do you think of this collection?

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The goods: Varsity Collection: Mixing Bowl Size 12 in Blue, Innovative Pastry brush, Cookie Tin with cutters & apron, Blue Cappuccino and Saucers, Tea for 1 (w/biscuit cutters), and Pastry Board-Provided by Mason Cash. Shop the Varsity Collection. Vintage tablecloth-Lenox-(Buy Similar), English Tea Shop-(Buy it here), Kitchen towels-(Shop), Plates and tea saucer-Liberty Blue china, W&S-Marble cutting board (Buy Similar),Shop the Mason Cash collection here. All opinions are honestly expressed & are my own. This post contains some affiliate/sponsor links.
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For The Movies

Film night can be exciting, however, two key essential elements for a successful themed night like this are inviting good company and to make sure to have fresh popcorn, obviously (perhaps, one of the most important elements) when hosting your own movie-inspired gathering.

As many of you fine blogging darlings may already know, we entertain quite often, that is until most recently with all of the restorations and work-life happenings ... things can get a tad crazy. Fortunately, I have several posts to share with you including this one—a great little gathering of friends that I hosted in the midst of all of our busy schedules last month right before my birthday.

Remember last year, I styled quite an elaborate setting with our Halloween party but this time things were tamer, brighter, and with a few new bits of cinema décor to make a perfectly dramatic ambience. All that you would need additionally is likely an actual popcorn cart, but that just takes up unnecessary space! I can almost make out your silent whispers of, "Hear, hear!" One can only assume that you're in agreement, which brings me to the reason why I decided on using these fun popcorn bags.

Whether it's at a carnival or a festival, these classic red stripes work! I found that these particular bags are a lot deeper than traditional ones that I've seen so I loved them! View the snippets below with helpful tips!

Make It Personal:
If you are trying to think of simple ways to make your movie party playful yet still have a personal touch, then try these spotlight snack boxes. They are easy to assemble, small enough to make your guests feel special and large enough to actually hold food, small candies/snacks and popcorn, etc. *Style tip: add a person's name in gold on the box for a "VIP" aesthetic.

I love games with friends so I suggest adding at least one fun game to play together when you have four to six people over. It doesn't have to be pub trivia, but more similar to charades, or guess the film we're watching type of game. Anything with minimal rules to carry you over until it's movie time will do.

Okay, you get the gist of this movie night, food, fun, décor … and I may or may not be a little overzealous when it comes to decorating but that's why you love me, right? With that being said, stay tuned loves for even more foodie details and party planning tips, including a very special request for more children-themed stylings (shout out to Jalisa!) in addition to these posts! Lastly, can we talk about how adorable these balloons are? Honestly, I cannot wait to use these cinema décor accents again, and again!

Entertaining 101:
When throwing a big or small scale party remember this, the ultimate impression given is from the host. The one tip that I continuously tell hosting novices before anything, is to make your guests feel comfortable. Your guests, whether friends or family are like sponges—they will absorb and feel what you pour in and out—your attitude and body language is everything. As long as I am not stressed, my guests won't be either.

Have fun and above all, if you can't make lemonade out of the lemons, well, you can always grab that sake on the second shelf! All jokes aside, have you ever hosted a movie night party? If not, then perhaps you should rethink it because it really doesn't have to be extravagant to be impactful and entertaining!

What do you think of our movie night décor?

The goods: All movie-themed products in this post can be found here. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. Some items in this post were provided via Oriental Trading.
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#NMNL Beauty Review

Hi, lovelies! Have you heard of NoMakeNoLifeoLife? NoMakeNoLife (NMNL) is a Japanese beauty box subscription service brand, affiliated with the TokyoTreat Group, a collection brands dedicated to providing Japanese offerings worldwide that include everything from snacks to skincare.

I recently tried a monthly box from NMNL filled with beauty and skincare products. From makeup tools to bath and body items, each month the NMNL brand offers subscription boxes filled with beauty related products curated by the Japanese beauty team of licensed beauty consultants. The brand promises to deliver 5-7 full-size unique and high-quality authentic Japanese products each month.

Although I have read mixed reviews, I was excited to receive the July subscription since I don't regularly acquire loads of Japanese beauty products. And, aside from what my brother sends me from his frequent business trips to Japan and what my friends send my way, I typically purchase Korean beauty or a few trendy skin care products in Asian cosmetics.

Here's what was included in the July box:

1. Profael Massage Jelly Body Mask: This massaging gel is made with wormwood extract which has antimicrobial and antifungal properties, and thirty other Japanese plant-based ingredients to rejuvenate dull and dry skin. This was a personal favourite, as I actually could feel a difference in my skin after showering.

2. Peelingood Peeling Gel Kit: This was a peeling gel that is made with hydrolyzed collagen, papain, and lemon fruit extract. It has a lovely, and gentle fragrance, and is to remove dead skin cells and dirt. I have sensitive skin and had no issues with using the formula. This adorable kit came with black cotton swabs, which I think would be great for travelling. However, generally, I cannot say whether or not it did anything even after several uses.

3. Sweets-Sweets Air Moisturising CC Cream: This is actually by sister brand of Canmake, a well-known drugstore brand. This cream acts as a pore concealer or makeup base with moisturising sun protection (SPF 50) against harmful UVB and UVA rays. The semi-sheer and slightly peach toned cream seemed to be ideal for concealing dark circles or as a concealer, but it wasn't my favourite. I have other products that would work better.

4. Hollywood Orchid Enzyme Mask (1 pack): Claims: a luxurious spa creamy mask that has the superpower of the enzyme has been around for fifty years, giving a more youthful and cleaner appearance in the skin. I liked this mask and I definitely saw a difference after using! My skin was softer, brighter, and refreshed.

5. Browtician Tweezers: These are actually by an Aussie brand with an emerging following in Japan. I loved these tweezers. I have slanted tweezers and used these in rotation, so I was quite happy that I received this pair, which came in a pointer style at the base with a jewelled exterior and packaged in a convenient mirrored case.
Details: Price $29.99/monthly subscription -7/10 stars
Overall, I liked this box. My favourite products were the massage jelly body mask, the Hollywood enzyme mask, and the Browtician tweezers.

I think that three out of five is not bad, whilst the CC cream was decent, I wasn't too impressed with it but I liked that it had SPF 50 and will likely use it as a colour corrector or an under eye makeup base.

I would have liked to know more about the ingredients, as the booklet only gave a very condensed list if any. I will have to get my sister to translate most of the packaging for me since I do not read or speak Japanese.

For the price, I think there should be at least six full-size items minimum, regardless of the genre but I believe for anyone merely seeking to try new Japanese products, I'd say it's fair. I think if you don't have a plethora of Japanese products at your disposal, then this monthly box would be a great option for you.

If you're interested in next month's NMNL box of goodies, grab it here or sign up on the site here.

Have you tried NoMakeNoLife or any Japanese subscription boxes lately?  

The goods: Monthly subscription service-July-Courtesy of NMNL. As always, all opinions are honestly expressed and my own. Shop NoMakeNoLife beauty here. This post contains some affiliate links, view policy info. here.   



DIY: Centrepieces and Table Numbers

I recently used a few different centrepieces and wanted to share one idea that I loved involving photo frames. Getting creative for events doesn't have to cost you a fortune.

You can make one of these frames to use for the following: escort cards, table seating cards, or wedding table numbers by adding fewer pieces to design one entire centrepiece. I decided to make several of these for name cards for the table settings, where guests could take their card with the appropriate number directing them to the table.

This worked well because it was a small intimate event (under fifty attendees). I am in the process of making a different version with larger frames but I was quite pleased with this result due to the occasion. Essentially, if you have plenty of moss, (which I did from my topiaries last season) then this is right up your street.

For larger events, you can use a larger (square) frame and create this in rows or singular columns. For an upcoming event, I used a rectangular frame with gold tacks, which worked well. Sometimes, adding a special handmade touch to an event can make all the difference. Take a gander below at my results.

Moss Framed Board
1 Baroque-style frame in gold
Moss sheet or 1 bag of moss
Moss rocks (optional)
Blank guest cards or name cards
Key charms (1 per guest card)
Gold jewellery wire or Baker's twine, cut the width of the frame.
String or miniature clothespins
Glue gun with glue sticks
Pen or thin marker
4-6 Paper flowers, dried flowers
1-2 faux succulents
PrepMeasure the inside of the frame, then cut cardboard to the measurements, or the insert that came with the frame itself as a guide to create a flat surface that will fit right inside the frame. Make certain that it is one piece without any gaps or holes in the centre.
  1. Attach the cardboard insert to the frame by placing hot glue around the inner part of the frame. Then, set the insert atop the frame. Press firmly. Set aside to cool. 
  2. Next, in small amounts add moss to the insert, forming a thick layer approximately 2 cm or so high. Let some of the moss protrude beyond the cardboard edges so that the moss slightly covers the inner edges of the frame (view images.) 
  3. Add jewellery wire horizontally along the frame in three spacious rows. *As a guide, just section the moss frame in thirds to make it easier. Attach each jewellery wire end into the moss by curving the ends and sticking them through the moss/cardboard. Use hot glue to set the ends of the wire in place. 
  4. Now, start to position your flowers, and succulent(s) to your desired area. Hot glue each piece to the moss surface. At this point, add other elements: branch pieces or moss rocks, if you prefer.
  5. Write on your guest cards: table numbers or the guest names, etc. Then, use a hole punch to create a hole for hanging. 
  6. Feed twine or string through the hole of each guest card and add a key charm on top of each guest card. Carefully tie each card with the key charms, to the jewellery wire on the moss frame. Now you have a centrepiece. Hang this on the wall or use this on the table for guests. 
Tip: This project is very affordable because moss is not that expensive if you go to décor market shops or wholesale suppliers. I typically buy in bulk for certain event supplies, especially if I know that I will use it for a future event.

What do you think of my guest framed centrepiece?

The goods: Shop the supplies for this DIY here. Some items in this post were provided by Oriental Trading. 
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