Welcome to the Blog section where you get to read about great offers, freebies and anything else we fancy chatting about!
Don't forget - if you have any questions or something to tell us, please contact us and we'd be happy to help.
We got our fantastic free Lacoste perfume roller ball through the post today!
Have you got yours yet? The perfume is the new Eau de Lacoste - it's fresh, feminine and "encapsulates the sensual feeling of pure white cotton on skin."
It smells lovely and not too overpowering, so it's right up my street! What perfume do you like?
Sadly the giveaway is now over, but you can still pick up a sample of Lacoste perfume here.
For more great beauty freebies, check out our Health and Beauty page. Enjoy!
I had some good friends over at the weekend and decided to bake some tarts and pies.
If you're a fan of citrus puddings, I can't recommend this Lime Pie recipe enough - the only reason I'm not calling it a Key Lime Pie was because I didn't use Key Limes, which are a special variety of limes, from Florida.
In the end I didn't end up dolloping cream of extra lime zest and the pudding was still delicious.It was my first time making this dessert and it was super easy and tasted great.I also decided to get a sandwich bag and put all the Hob Nobs inside, zipped it shut and bashed it with a rolling pin. This is an easy, non-messy way to achieve biscuit crumbs - it also saves on washing up!
For the next dessert (because one really isn't enough is it?) I made a Bakewell tart. It's slightly more complicated than the Lime Pie, but worth the effort. If you don't have ground almonds then you can use flaked almonds and whizz them in a food processor.
I don't own any baking beans, but I have a great tip for you - get some good quality clingfilm and pour some rice over to weigh the pastry down. After you've taken the pastry base out of the oven, you can use the rice again!
See Bakewell Tart recipe here.
Are you into baking? What are your favourite cakes, tarts and pies to make?
Taking just a few minutes out of your day can help you stay on top of clutter. Here are five tips on how to de-clutter the easy way.
1. Turn Tea-time into Tidy-time - Whenever you flick the kettle on instead of waiting around willing it to boil faster, why not give the kitchen a quick tidy up. You can put away things, tidy the counters and give the surfaces a quick clean!
2. Adopt the 'One in, One out' Rule - For every new item you buy whether it be clothing or homeware donate or recycle an old item. This will ensure you don't hoard any unwanted items that are just taking up space.
3. Use 'Takeaway Time' wisely - When you're hungry it's a pretty torturous wait for a takeaway. Whilst you're waiting why not work up an appetite and make time fly by having a good tidy up? The takeaway will be your treat at the end!
4. Target Specific Zones - Don't attempt to de-clutter an entire room in a short space of time. Work through different zones - one shelf, then one flat surface, followed by a cupboard and so on.
5. Box Up and Stay Calm - Attempting to de-clutter in a day will only stress you out. Take your time over a week or two and keep different boxes labelled with 'garage', 'recycle', 'donate' and so on in your house. Slowly work your way room to room de-cluttering and 'boxing'.
Following a strict healthy eating plan can be difficult to say the least. If like me, you are continually falling off the salad waggon here are five healthy eating habits that are easy to stick to...
1. Hydrate before Hunger - Drink a glass of water before eating any food - big or small whether it's dinner or a few grapes - not only will this help you get in your eight a day but it may cure your dehydration - which is commonly mistaken for hunger.
2. Get a Boost of Omega 3 - Want to increase your Omega 3 intake but don't have the money or taste buds for salmon and sardines? Sprinkle a tablespoon of flax-seeds onto your meals - cereal, salads and rice work nicely. Find it in health-food stores like Holland & Barrett.
3. Do the Crunch Test - Only go for snacks that need a good old crunch. Apples, celery, snap peas and nuts are all healthy and keep your mouth busy for longer so your body has more time to register fullness.
4. Go Green - Swap your builder's tea and coffees for green tea. It's full of anti-oxidants and contains zero calories - even better it contains a small amount of caffeine so you can still get your fix. Need sugar in your tea? Try fruit green tea - my favourite variations are strawberry, cranberry and orange.
5. Eat Sweet without Sweets - We all have that moment around 4pm where we have an energy slump and start craveing sugar. Instead of hitting the chocolate always have naturally sweet foods to hand, like citrus fruits. Sweetcorn is also healthy and naturally sweet - making it a great afternoon snack.
6. Swap Crisps for Carrots and Dare to Dip - We all know we need to eat more vegetables to stay healthy. So, why not swap crisps for carrots and celery with a hummus dip? You get the same satisfying crunch and your taste buds will focus on the flavour of the dip rather than the veg.
Here at MagicFreebiesUK we are always trying out different cleaning tips that help both save money and make life easier. We've picked up a fair few along the way, so we've compiled a list of our top five...
1. Lift Stains with Lemon - As we all know lemon is a natural bleaching agent, so squeeze over and let it dry in the sun. It works better than most stain removers and is cheap as chips.
2. Keep TVs Dust-Free - Fabric Softener is great way of reducing the static cling that attracts dust to your television. Pour a small amount onto a soft cloth then wipe over your screen and stand.
3. Microwave Quick Clean - Cleaning the microwave is always a chore. Clean it quickly and efficiently by placing two cups of water in the middle and cook on high heat for 5 minutes. Wipe down with a sponge. The moisture will help stubborn stains glide off.
4. Unblock a Kitchen Sink - Have you got a pesky blocked pipe? Clear it by dropping two Alka Seltzers down the drain followed by a cup of water. Leave for five minutes then run the hot water tap - a quick and easy way to unblock!
5. Keep Taps Sparkling - Take a balled up piece of tin foil and use it to scrub your chrome taps and appliances. Remember to use the shiny side of the foil!
The average woman spends nearly £2,000 a year on their appearance but with a few nifty tips and tricks you can make your beauty products last longer - and keep your costs down!
Here are my top tips for making your products last longer...
1. Bulk up your body scrub - Is your tub running out? Make it go further by topping it up with brown sugar and olive oil or honey.
2. Give tubes the snip - If you can't squeeze any more product out of your tube, simply snip off the end and you'll be shocked at how much is still left inside! Use this trick on anything that comes in a tube - lip balm, toothpaste, hand cream etc.
3. Use every last drop of perfume - When you reach the last few drops of perfume, pour the remainder into an unscented moisturiser or body wash to get the most out of it. You'll get to enjoy the scent for much longer!
4. Ration your shampoo - Most women use far too much shampoo and conditioner. Not only does this make your hair greasier faster but it wastes valuable product. Hairdressers recommend you use a 50 pence sized amount. To help limit your usage, decant a week's worth of product into small travel-sized bottles and keep them in the bathroom.
5. Transform lipstick to lip gloss - When your lipsticks are almost finished (or if you just get bored of the colour!) cut off the stubs, melt them down in the microwave and pour in a tin. Voilà - a homemade lip gloss!
Do you have any great money-saving beauty tips? I'd love to hear them.
If you didn't get a Valentine's this morning fret not you can get a Free Set of Lashes from The Vintage Cosmetics Company.
To get your free set of False Lashes all you need to do is 'Share the Love' and Join The Vintage Cosmetics Company's Mailing List. Enter both your details and a friend's details to get a free set. Your friend will then get an email on how to claim their freebie.
I love a good beauty freebie and this has perked my day right up. So ladies, consider it your duty to the sisterhood and pass this freebie onto all your single friends - immediately!
Have a great one and make sure you sign up for your Free Vintage Cosmetic Lashes.
Micro-beads are the latest trend in textured nail art. Read our review of budget beauty brand MUA's Nail Constellations and follow our step-by-step guide to achieving the look!
For months beauty writers have been raving about 'Nail Caviar' and posting photos of this 3D micro-bead nail effect all over the bloggersphere. I've been meaning to try it for a while but only after seeing how amazing it looked on a friend was I finally spurred into actually trying it.
Ciaté were the pioneer's of this 3D nail effect and coined the term 'Nail Caviar' but being a high-end nail brand their kits cost an eye-watering £18. Thankfully, there are now a few affordable alternatives available on the high street and cheap-as-chips non-branded versions on Ebay.
As it's Frugal February here at MF HQ, I thought I'd try one of the cheapest versions on the high street - MUA Nail Constellations at £3 a bottle. The Nail Constellations range consists of five bottles of different metallic coloured micro-beads. In keeping with the space theme they're all named after star signs - Scorpio, Pisces, Leo, Gemini and Libra. I went for Pisces, a very pretty turquoise, pink and cream combo. Each bottle of micro-beads comes with a detachable funnel a bit like a mini baster but without the suction - so unfortunately you can't control how many beads come out.
I read the basic instructions provided and watched MUA's Online Video Tutorial to prepare then settled into the sofa and followed these steps...
1. I prepped my nails with a base coat then painted each nail with a thin coat of MUA's Nail Polish in 5, a mint green shade to match the micro-beads. I then applied a second thicker coat to my thumb nail and whilst still wet poured the beads onto it until it was fully covered, rotating my thumb to get the sides. As recommended by bloggers, I also placed a small bowl underneath to catch and re-use all the excess.
2. It looked disturbingly messy at first but after using a cuticle stick to gently flatten and spread the beads out it instantly looked neater. I repeated this process one-by-one on each nail but I found it almost impossibe to apply the beads to my right hand (due to an incredibly shaky left hand) so instead of the funnel, I used a teaspoon to carefully pour the excess micro-beads from the bowl onto the nails.
3. Once I was happy with the shape of the micro-beads on every nail, I applied a top coat. I intended to apply just a thin layer but it ended up quite thick which unfortunately dulled the colour a bit. I read that in order to retain the vividness of the beads some people prefer to go without topcoat but as I had applied a fairly dense layer of micro-beads I felt they needed to be 'secured' so ended up going a bit overboard.
4. I then unscrewed the funnel, turned it upside down and poured all the excess micro-beads back into the bottle. There was roughly 3/4 left so I've got a good few applications left.
5. The only thing left to do after that was wait. Then wait some more. Then go to sleep. It took an absolute age to dry! I applied them at 8pm and by 11pm they were still tacky and I was able to nudge the beads around (this did mean I was able to continue to shape them to perfection). It was only in the morning that they were completely dry.
The 45 minute process was a tad fiddly but in fairness it wasn't anywhere near as difficult as I'd imagined and the overall look was definitely worth the effort. The 3D beaded effect coupled with the pastel colours looked great and I even got a few compliments from fellow commuters and random House of Fraser sales assistants.
Within the 48 hour period I had them on I only lost a few beads around the tips and edges - no major loss. I could of kept them on for longer but where I blend my concealer with my fingertips some of the cream beads got stained with concealer. Looking a bit grubby, I took them off with nail varnish remover and they left my nails feeling a bit weak. Nothing a bit of nail cream and a coat of strengthener can't fix but it did put me off from wearing the micro-beads again for longer than a day or two.
I haven't tried any other micro-beads so I can't compare but I'd definitely recommend MUA Constellations to both newbies and nail pros. They look impressive, are long-lasting and fantastic value for money. For me, the process and drying time is far too long for every day wear - plus I want to avoid weakening my already fragile nails - but I'd definitely do it again for a special occassion.
It's Shrove Tuesday - Pancake Day! Here is the recipe for you...
100g plain flour
250ml whole milk
Pinch of Salt
Sift the flour with a pinch of salt into a bowl and make a well in the middle.
Break the egg into the well and whisk slowly. gradually add a quarter of the milk, mixing well until you see bubbles in the mixture.
Gradually pour in the remaining milk while mixing - if it's too thick then add some water.
Pour mixture into a jug to make it easier to pour into your pan.
Heat the frying pan and put butter into it allowing the melted butter to spread all around the pan.
When the butter starts to smoke a bit pour in 2 tablespoons of your pancake batter mix (enough to cover thinly the bottom of the pan).
Cook until golden brown, flip and serve with the toppings of your choice!!
Suggested toppings from the MagicFreebiesUK Team:
Lemon & Sugar (a classic!)
Chocolate & Marshmallows
Blueberries & Maple Syrup
Nutella & Banana
Mushroom & Cheese (Savoury is great too!)
Have a lovely day filled with yummy pancakes.
Poundland have a fantastic selection of cheap and cheerful Valentine's Day Gifts - all for just £1.
It's that time of year again - Valentine's Day is looming. If you haven't bought anything yet then don't go into a panic-buying frenzy. Poundland's £1 range prove you don't have to spend a fortune to celebrate the occassion.
With a bit of imagination you could do something thoughtful for just a couple of quid! Here are a few ideas to get you going...
2. Baking cakes? This Cupcake Set comes with cute and quirky accessories to make your creations even more special.
3. Make an impact by filling an entire room with these Heart Shaped Balloons. Who doesn't love balloons?
Check out Poundland's Valentine's Day Gifts and make it the best (cheapest) Valentine's ever!