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March Instalife

Selflie in my new favourite top | Deciding what to wear for the Teedra Moses concert you can read about it here) | The lady herself on stage doing her thing | Late night feast after the concert 
Sick in bed | My bed side | A little haul | home made peanut butter cookies
Afternoon snack at my desk | warming my feet by the fire | Which dress to wear? (went for the one on the left in the end) | Masquerade party with hubby
Sister love | Birthday cake I made for my sister's birthday | winter wonderland | chocolates and wine - yum!
editing this video | Ikea, twice - in one day | The best thing about the movies | Chocolate overload

Happy Easter guys! Hope you're all having a lovely bank holiday weekend. I'm a serious Instagram addict I can't help but check it at least 5 times a day, and take cheeky snaps of everyday life. There's something about capturing the little details of life, and sharing them with others, that makes me feel more connected to people.

If your on Instagram stop by and say hello, you can find me @renee_made. Also leave a comment below with your instagram name so I can follow you. 




What's In My Handbag


I love reading/watching what's in my handbag posts. Mainly because I'm a nosy parker and like to know personal things about other people (at least I can admit it!) I thought seeing as I like them so much maybe you guys would be interested to.

I hope you enjoy, I'm hoping to have more of this sort of thing coming soon!

Music Monday ~ Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience

20/20 experience, justin timberlake
20/20 experience, justin timberlake
Last month I spoke about my utter excitement that Justin Timberlake was back with new music (read the blog post here). I was impressed with his first offering Suit and Tie, from the new album The 20/20 Experience. I mentioned in the post that while I liked Suit And Tie I didn't absolutely love it. That said I still wanted to hear the full album. As of a few weeks ago the wait was over and this highly anticipated album was released.

I don't know about you, but I certainly welcomed Mr JT back from his 7 year music hiatus. I had very high hopes for The 20/20 Experience. My thoughts were going back to his amazing debut album Justified and his second offering FutureSex/LoveSounds. I couldn't help but wonder if this offering would be on par.

Track number one Pusher Love Girl lays the foundation for what this album is all about, Justin's take on a neo soul project. As soon as I heard it, it took me back to D'angelo and Maxwell with a touch of new school Miguel. For me the stand out track of the album is Mirrors. I can freely admit that I had it on repeat for a whole afternoon - ok more like a day.

There are the pretty standard 10 tracks on the album and nice digital booklet (when you download from iTunes). Where 20/20 offers value for money is in the extended versions of Pusher Love Girl, Mirrors and Strawberry Bubblegum with all tracks touching 8 minutes. With a number of tracks on the album lasting around 7 minutes there are moments when 20/20 ever so slightly over stays its welcome.

One thing I liked most about this album was the brave journey JT takes you on. Its clear he's not willing to play it safe and give listeners bubble gum pop. Instead you have touches of afro centric beats in Hold The Wall, Latin inspired horns on Let The Groove Get In and strings on Strawberry Bubblegum. Don't even get me started on the break down bit at the end of Mirrors, his vocals are stunning in this section, that falsetto gives me chills.

Justin takes executive producer credit on this album, which is a serious nod to his growth and journey as a recording artist. The 20/20 Experience also features Timberlake's long time friend and colab partner Timberland, as well as J-Roc and of course Jay-Z.

As far as I'm conceded The 20/20 Experience shows some of the new kids of the block what real music is about (yes I'm talking about the little pretender Justin Bieber!). Enough of my thoughts on it what about yours, it's over to you guys - let me know what you think.

  

Sleek Sparkel 2 Palette

sleek sparkle 2 palette, sleek makeup, sleek,
sleek sparkle 2 palette, sleek makeup, sleek
sleek sparkle 2 palette, sleek makeup, sleek
 *Sleek Sparkle 2 Palette
sleek sparkle palette, sleek, makeup, beauty
sleek sparkel palette 2, sleek, makeup, beauty
sleek sparkle 2 palette, sleek, makeup, beauty

When it comes to makeup, as the yanks would say, I'm like a kid in a candy shop. So opening my bbloggers Christmas goody bag to find the Sleek Sparkle 2 Palette was beyond exciting (please forgive me for mentioning Christmas when it's almost Easter and for taking so long to write this post). 

I've come to expect big things form Sleek. Their range of colours is amazing, so is the formulation of their products and the pigments are on par with the big boy players in the beauty game like Mac and Urban decay. Long gone are the days when Sleek could mainly be found in afro hair shops. Sleek Makeup has well and truly made it's mark on the beauty industry and the Sparkle 2 Palette is testament to that.

The thing I adore most about this platte is it's versatility. The mixture of neutral and more glamorous tones allow you to take your look form day to night in one handy compact. In particular I'm loving the deep mauve tones, forest green "holly" and don't even get me started on the yellow and golds - divine!

swatching wasn't enough for me on this occasion I had to get right in there and play around with the colours. Excuse the simple base I've only got on my regular YSL foundation. I had to see what the mauve, gold and neural tones would look like together. Of course the blogger in me couldn't resist taking a snap of myself - talk about selfie. 

Ok so that's my thoughts on on the Sleek Sparkle 2 Palette but about about yours? What sleek products are you loving at the moment?  










Peanut Butter Cookies

chocolate chip, cookies, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies

I'm not a huge fan of shop bought biscuits to me they seem to lack soul ( as much soul as a biscuit can have). The same can not be said for a good old home made biscuit. Nothing beats the smell of warm cookie dough wafting through your home.

chocolate chip, cookies, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies

I'm a bit of a peanut butter fiend so when I came across this recipe for peanut butter cookies in The Humming Bird Bakery Cook Book I had to give it a try. Now I'm not good at following instructions so I did go off on a tangent, that said I did stick to the basic recipe.

Ok so to whip these goodies up you're going to need

chocolate chip, cookies, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies
  • 225g of unsalted butter at room temperature 
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 340g crunchy peanut butter
  • 340g plain flour
  • 75g dark chocolate
Preheat your oven to 170c or gas mark 3

Put your butter and sugar in a bowl and mix together, it's easier if you have a free standing mixer. If not a hand held mixer like mine will do the job nicely. The butter and sugar should be mixed together into a nice light creamy texture.
chocolate chip, cookies, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies
chocolate chip, cookies, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies
chocolate chip, cookies, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies

Add the eggs in one at a time mixing them in slowly. Then add the vanilla and peanut butter in, at this stage I turn the speed on the mixer up a little to get it all mixed in. Chop the chocolate into bite sized chunks not to big and not to small, but don't add it to the mixture just yet. Add the flour and mix until a smooth dough is formed. Now it's time for the chocolate, stir it in so it's evenly dispersed. 

chocolate chip, cookies, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies
chocolate chip, cookies, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies

Arrange into roughly even amounts onto a baking tray, I used an ice cream scoop for this it looks nice but does give you large cookies!

chocolate chip, cookies, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies

Pop into the oven for around 10 min. Best served warm with a glass of milk!

chocolate chip, cookies, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies
chocolate chip, cookies, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter, chocolate chip cookies

Hmm yum enjoy!


DIY Ripped Jeans Tutorial



A few weeks ago I posted here about my ripped jeans inspiration. I got round to turning my inspirations a reality yesterday. I ripped/distressed some slightly ill fitting jeans I was going to throw away. I thought I would film the process to give you guys an idea (that's if you need it) on how to get the ripped effect on your jeans.

I've recently got really into YouTube and started making videos. If your as addicted to YouTube as I am why not subscribe to my channel here it would be amazing if you did!

Music Monday ~ Bridget Kelly

bridget kelly, special deliver, every girl ep, roc nation
If your into old school RnB and soul music then you will love Bridget Kelly. A new comer on the scene, lots of her songs are about the heart ache and struggle of relationships. Bridget has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the industry including Frank Ocean, The Dream and Ne-Yo and is singed to Roc Nation. I've been listening to her EP Every Girl, for me the stand out track is Special Delivery which was released in the states last August. A close second would be her cover of Frank Ocean's Thinking About You. I know this is probably a controversial choice as lots of people aren't fans of covers, but I like her take on the song and think she adds something to it.

Ok well enough of my thoughts on Bridget Kelly it's over to you have a listen and let me know what you think here.

  

Follow What Renee Made On Bloglovin

keep calm and follow me on bloglovin
keep calm and follow me on bloglovin

If you haven't heard the news Google reader is shutting down on the 1st July (sad times I know). You may be thinking "so whats that got to do with me?" Well if you use Google reader to follow this blog, or others, soon it will be out of action. Not to worry though, as I'm over on Bloglovin. I've been using Bloglovin personally for a few years to follow my favourite blogs that don't have Google Friend Connect. If you don't have an account then it's super quick and simple to start one. Follow the instructions on the Bloglovin site and you will have your favourite blogs delivered straight to your inbox - ehem.... including this one your reading! So if your considering switching over to Bloglovin you can follow me here

Mini Dress To A Crop Top

cropped red top, red crop top, style, how to style crop top

I'll probably do a full on outfit post wearing this crop top I made when the weather warms up and I feel justified having my midriff out during daylight hours (I know highly inappropriate for someone of my age!). But I really wanted to share how quick and easy it was to whip this up. My crop top started life as a mini dress from Dorothy Perkins. I bought it years ago for a Christmas party but didn't get much use out of it. I decided to resurrect it from the back of my wardrobe only to discover the mini had got even mini-er (if that's even a word). As far as I'm concerned it shrunk in the wash, I refuse to believe my arse is getting bigger! So not wanting to waste the dress I thought I could refashion it into a crop top. I've seen lots of bloggers and other fashionable types rocking them recently, but personally couldn't justify paying twenty quid for, lets face it half a top! So if you like the idea of making your own here's the how to... 


crop top, red crop top, style, how to style crop top

Your going to need a pair of sharp scissors, tape measure, tailors chalk (or something that will easily wash/rub off to mark your fabric) pins either a sewing machine or needle and thread. 

Start off by laying your dress or item flat on the table, then take your tape measure and measure the length you want your crop top to be. 

Once you've decided mark it out on the top using the chalk, be sure to add 1cm for the hem! Then get your scissors and snip away the excess fabric. 

With the fabric gone your going to need your pins. Fold the new hem of the top making sure its an even 1cm all the way around, as you fold the fabric use a pin to secure it in place. Once the hem of your top is pinned it's a good idea to give it a little press with the iron but this step is not essential, I skipped this bit and went straight onto sewing. 

Set your sewing machine to the right setting and stitch length for your fabric. (Check the user manual for this) Or if you're using a hand needle and thread go ahead and thread your needle and begin stitching the hem. I used a sewing machine for this part as I find it quicker and easier than hand sewing.  

crop top, red crop top, cropped top, how to style crop style, style

So that's it, that's how I turned a mini dress into a crop top. This is probably the quickest DIY I've ever done, it took literally 15min to do. I was heading out with friends the day I made it and was pushed for time. Oh and see you don't have to have wash board abs to wear a cropped top - I'm proof of that!

Music Monday ~ Lianne Le Havas

lianne le havas, music, Gone

Lianne La Havas has steadily been making waves on the music scene for some time now. Her soulful melodic vocals have the ability to draw you in and keep your interest. Hailing from south London Lianne is about to kick off her first Uk tour culminating in two shows at the Shepherds Bush empire.
  
It was really tricky to pick one track as my favourite as I love her music, at a push I would say my current favourite is Gone as I've been listening to it lots recently.

For more on Lianne check out her website here and her Youtube here

DIY Turban Hat

turban hat, beanie hat, hat, yellow turban hat, yellow turban, woolly hat
turban hat, beanie hat, hat, yellow turban hat, yellow turban, woolly hat

There are days when I hate that the weather dictates what I wear. That said generally once you're over the age of 25 the thought of dressing inappropriately and catching phenomena loses it's appeal. So yes I have succumb to practicality. When it's cold I wear a hat, in the spring I never leave without a cardigan, and in the summer you won't catch me anywhere near a pair of boots. However the need to dress up and generally feel a bit fancy does at times take hold of me.

Like I said the desire to be a bit fancy took hold and I decided that I needed to jazz up my regular hat - and a turban just seemed like a natural choice. It took me around 30 min to make and is so quick and simple anyone could do it. Check out my easy to follow tutorial for a step by step guide on how to make your own turban hat.

Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer

rimmel, apocalips, rimmel apocalips, makeup, lip lacquer, lipgloss, lip gloss
rimmel, apocalips, rimmel apocalips, makeup, lip lacquer, lipgloss, lip gloss
rimmel, apocalips, rimmel apocalips, makeup, lip lacquer, lipgloss, lip gloss
rimmel, apocalips, rimmel apocalips, makeup, lip lacquer, lipgloss, lip gloss
rimmel, apocalips, rimmel apocalips, makeup, lip lacquer, lipgloss, lip gloss
Rimmel Apocalips | I'm wearing the colour Galaxy

With a name like Apocalips, the new Rimmel lip lacquer has a lot to live up to. Well I'm pleased to say they do indeed live up to the hype.

Rimmel have billed the Apocalips lacquer as some where between a lip stick and a gloss. It has all the high shine you would expect from any lip gloss worth it's salt. Yet this little gem packs a punch that would knock a few lippy's out the ring.

When giving this a try I found all I needed was one coat of this high intense and super pigmented lacquer and away you go. Often highly pigmented lips products can feel quite sticky and heavy on the lip, I found the formula in Apocalips seems to break the mould.

Apocalips comes in 8 shades, so plenty to chose form. I picked up big bang - a seriously hot red, galaxy - a gentle mauve and Apocaliptic - a powerful pink. I really struggled to pick a favourite from the three I selected but at a push I would say mine was Big Bang. What can I say I'm a sucker for a sassy red lip! These have got some really staying power I wore Big Bang to work, it managed to with stand a day of air kissing, lunch and a cheeky red after work. Now I'm not saying it was perfectly in place after all that, but you could certainly see I had a lip product on. I also swatched the three of them on my arm and had a hard time getting it off.

If you haven't tried Apocalips yet then you really should, I got my 3 on a 3 for 2 offer in boots so it was a steal. To be fair they retail at around £6 so it's not going to dent your pocket.

Have you tried Apocalips yet? If so whats your favourite colour?

DIY Inspiration ~ Ripped Denim

Ripped jeans, fashion, style , interest, women, denim, jeans
Ripped jeans, fashion, style , interest, women, denim, jeans
Ripped Jeans Pinterest Inspiration

My first attempt at wearing ripped jeans was way back when in the 80's. I thought I was the coolest thing ever with my puffy pigtails, baggy T and ripped jeans. That was until my grandmother told me to take my beloved ripped jeans off so she could mend them. I did try and protest that they were meant to be that way and it was cool to have tears bigger than your fists in your denim. She was having none of it and insisted on mending them as I "would catch my death of could, running around with my knee's exposed". I'm sure a therapist would tell me that moment was the reason for my aversion to ripped denim for so many years. That was until a month ago browsing the Zara sale I came across a rather nice grey pair. Since then I've been itching to do some ripped denim DIY!

Music Monday ~ Teedra Moses

teedra moses, complex simplicity, soul music, rub, jazz cafe, jazz cafe london

Saturday night the Mr and I, along with a couple friends went to see Teedra Moses at The Jazz Cafe. I've been so excited about her gig for months so when the day came nothing could dampen my spirits. Not even the fact that the train station was closed so I had to battle through central London traffic in the car, that's right nothing.

Having missed her last London gig and heard rave reviews, I had high hopes for Teedra, and boy I wasn't disappointed. I loved the atmosphere, everyone was just interested in having a good time and enjoying the music.

She kicked off the show, walking down the stairs in a long white Grecian style gown with killer heels and a faux fur shawl draped over her shoulder, sipping a glass of cognac. All the hall marks of a diva, trust me it was brilliant! She then belted out a remixed cover of Soul ll Soul Back To Life to get the crowd going. Teedra was supported by the most incredible band, special mention to the drummer and guy on the guitar - they killed it! It was great to hear all of my favourite Teedra songs live, she has a great voice and is event better live than on track, as you get the full force of her personality and vocals.

Any way enough of my rambling I managed to film a bit on my iPhone and have edited together a few snippets of my favourite bits. By the way Teedra fans the lady will be back in London next year and will be releasing some new material some time soon.

I hope you enjoy!

  

Sweet Corn Fritters

sweet corn fritters recipe
sweet corn fritters recipe
sweet corn fritters recipe

I've been an avid follower of The Londoner blog by Rosie for some time now. Rosie manages to get the perfect balance of lifestyle fashion and food. I have no idea how she stays so slim when she's constantly cooking up sinfully yummy delights. A few weeks ago I came across her sweet corn fritters recipe here perfect for fuelling you up for a busy Saturday of running errands, shopping and queueing (don't we Brits just love to queue) The recipe was super easy to follow and even better to eat, I went with Rose's tip of maple syrup and hot sauce. All I can say is wow!!

My pictures really don't do it justice, as like I said we had a busy day and I was in a rush so a quick iPhone snap was all I had time for.

Seriously you have to give these a try there unbelievably yummy!