Halloween Cupcakes

Happy nearly Halloween everyone! This post is long overdue. Not just because it's been far too long since my last baking post but also because apart from the usual Autumnal header, we've been seriously lacking Halloween and general seasonal content on Megan Jean this year. So this year I've got an exciting one for you. Though they have a delicious orange chocolate chip sponge and smooth vanilla buttercream, if anything these cupcakes are purely style over substance. (I'm sorry Paul) But if you can't go overboard with the food colouring and fondant icing at Halloween, then really, when can you? They're also super easy to make and can be adapted to all sorts of different designs and seasons. So keep reading to find out how I made these spookily good cupcakes.

Christmas Gift Ideas For Him*

Now, I know what you're thinking... Megan, it's only October, why are you posting Christmas gift guides now!? But if you're anything like me, you'll have been thinking about Christmas for a long time now. Heck, I started thinking about it before July was even over. What I want, the theme for my bedroom, all the cheese I'm going to eat, wine I'm going to drink, my plans with friends and family and most importantly, what I'm going to buy for other people. And as much as I absolutely love going out and getting gifts for other people, wrapping them and seeing the looks on their faces when they open them, I have to admit that I seriously struggle with choosing presents, especially when it comes to the men in my life. You'd think after knowing my brother for 23 years and even sharing a womb with him I'd know what he'd like for Christmas but no, I don't have a clue. So, to help out anyone else who struggles with buying for their fathers, brothers, boyfriends, etc, I've put together a comprehensive gift guide to help you this festive period. Hopefully with any luck, there's a little something for everyone in here somewhere. Huge shoutout to Sam and Robbie for their help with this one, not sure I could have come up with half of this by myself so seriously go check these lads out if you haven't already.

The One Who's Into Grooming

Though I might be massively into my own makeup and beauty regime, I have no idea where to start when it comes to male grooming. I think the closest my brother has come to a hair and skincare routine is a classic Lynx giftset, a little bit of moisturiser and some hair gel (think primary school disco spikes). But if you want to get something a little classier than Lynx, maybe find out what their favourite scent is or if it's your boyfriend, your favourite scent on them. Try Aventus by Creed or Jean Paul Gaultier. Personally I love Paco Rabanne 1 Million. You could pick up a new washbag and pack it with a few products like some aftershave,  a Kiehl's moisturiser and some hair products. One brand with a huge selection of christmas gift ideas for men is L'Occitane. They have a new range inspired by the rays of Southern France covering everything from moisturisers to essential oils, shaving creams to colognes and more, with a little something for most budgets. They also come beautifully packaged so they're perfect for gifting to that someone special.

The One Who's Into Gadgets

Buying gadgets might seem like an expensive option but it's really only as expensive as you make it and there's loads of different options depending on your budget. If you've got a lot of cash to spend and fancy going the whole hog you could pick up the new iPhone or an iPad. Or if your budget isn't quite that high, maybe a mobile lens kit, perfect for the guy who's into his photography but maybe not looking to invest in anything too fancy. If he's into his cameras and photography maybe try a Go Pro or a Polaroid camera, both cheaper alternatives to a proper DSLR but just as much fun. Is he a bit of a bookworm? Try a kindle. A new watch is also a pretty safe option, whether that's something advanced like an Apple watch or Fossil Smartwatch or something a little more classic like a Timex. Wireless headphones and speakers are also great techy gifts and perfect for most people. Everyone loves music, right? My brother has the UE Megaboom and it was a great gadget for taking on holiday. Waterproof, so great for by the pool and the sound quality was excellent, perfect for that upcoming New Years Eve party. Of course there are loads more cheaper alternatives if that's a little on the expensive size. 

The Fanboy

I'm a big fan of buying for someone with a known hobby or interest. It always makes it 1000 times easier to find things that they might enjoy when you know exactly what they like, whether that be a favourite band or TV series, gardening or cooking, having a point to work from makes gift buying that little less daunting. I guess one of the easiest gift choices here is a DVD boxset of their favourite film or TV series. Star Wars? Lord of The Rings? Harry Potter? Most of them have really nice collectors editions or special extended editions perfect for any fan. Any good franchise will have all sorts of novelty gifts too. T-Shirts, mugs, wall art, etc. I absolutely love this Stormtrooper decanter, just fill it full of their favourite alcohol, sorted. Tickets and experiences are also a great present. Is their favourite band touring soon? Do they love super cars? Easy. 

The Fallback Options

And sometimes there's that one person where you just have absolutely no idea. They don't have any big hobbies or interests, you don't know what gadgets or activities they're into and you don't want to spoil the surprise by asking. For that person, you have the fallback options. Some novelty underwear or socks always go down a treat. Socks might seem like the most boring present when you're younger but I promise you, they're a welcome surprise when you reach adulthood.  Winter warmers are also the perfect Christmas gifts. Scarves, hats, gloves or a festive jumper. Maybe a novelty onesie for lying around in your Christmas dinner food coma. You could try a hip flask, wallet or cuff links. A bottle of alcohol will make anyone happy (even better if you know their tipple of choice), you could even get them some nice personalised glasses to go along with it. Or maybe games that you can play on Christmas Day, a big favourite of mine is Cards Against Humanity. If you've got a slightly dark, twisted sense of humour this one is a winner. 

At the end of the day. It's the thought that counts. I may spend most of my time present shopping stressing out about whether it's the right gift or whether they'll like it but I can guarantee that 9 times out of 10 the person receiving the present will absolutely love it. Or they'll at least pretend they do. And if you're really struggling, just remind them that your company is a gift in itself.

What are your go to presents for the men in your life?

*This post contains sponsored content but as always, all opinions are my own.

The Lorac Unzipped Palette | Review

Warning, if you're a bit of a sucker for a good eyeshadow palette then you might want to look away now. Seriously, I do not accept any responsibility for money that shouldn't be spent on make-up disappearing from your account after seeing this one. The Lorac Unzipped Eyeshadow Palette is by no means a new palette, in fact it's been around for a while now and been sat in my palette basket for nearly a year waiting to be reviewed but it's one that I fall in love with over and over again.

Luscious Locks with Alchemy Oils*

Once upon a time I decided that I wanted to be blonde for Summer. And I'm not just talking a few highlights blonde, I'm talking full head, bleach, toning, bright blonde. After a couple of failed box dye attempts I decided it was probably time to bite the bullet and invest in a professional. Long story short I visited the hairdressers three times in the space of about two weeks and you can only imagine the damage this inflicted on my poor hair. In a short space of time, excessive bleach, straightening and blow drying turned my soft past-the-nipple length brown hair into shoulder length, dry, damaged not-even-blonde hair. I didn't even get a haircut in that time, the change in length all came down to breakage, snapping and split ends. Safe to say I quickly went back brown and began the journey to repairing my hair.

Half Year Reflection & July Goals

It really doesn't seem like all that long ago I was sitting down to write my New Years Resolutions and 2017 goals and here we are coming to the end of July. My dad really was right when he said that time flies by when you get older and the last six months are complete evidence of that. I honestly couldn't tell you where the time has gone or what I've even been doing for the last few months, it seems to have gone past in a complete daze but no complaints from me. I'm pretty sure, apart from a few minor setbacks, it's been a fantastic half year and I'm excited to see what the rest of it has in store. I actually went back last week and had a read through my 2017 goals and 2016 reflection and it's amazing to see just how things can change in what is a relatively short space of time, so, if like me you're nosy and like hearing about people's lives, then sit tight and grab a cuppa cause we're going in. (For reference you can read my 2016 reflection post here.)

The Art of Being Alone

Being single is weird. One minute you're going to the cinema alone, feeling independent af, the next you're hungover in bed on a Sunday texting that fuckboy you know you shouldn't cause you're feeling needy and could do with a spoon. It's a constant mix of enjoying being out with your friends, sipping cocktails and feeling carefree, going on tinder dates, proclaiming how much you hate men and then wishing that boy you like would text you back. And though I definitely go through cycles of loving my own company and then wanting all the attention, one thing I know for sure is that I am slowly mastering the art of being alone.

Tarte Rainforest Of The Sea Foundation | Review

When it comes to makeup, my foundation is definitely something I'm not as experimental with. I tend to stick to the ones I know and love (shoutout to Makeup Forever Ultra HD aka my bae) and it's rare that I'll stray away from them until something really exciting comes along. A lot of bloggers are big fans of the Tarte Amazonian Clay foundation but as Tarte is pretty difficult to get ahold of in the UK, I never managed to jump on the bandwagon. So when I visited the States in December, I decided to pick up their newest offering, the Rainforest Of The Sea Foundation. (Kinda wish I'd also picked up the super hyped up Tape Shape concealer while I was there but hindsight is a wonderful thing).

The Embroidered Shoes You NEED

If there's one trend recently that I've been really digging, it's embroidery. On shoes, dresses, bags, everything. There's something about the simple addition of a few floral elements that can really bring what would have been a simple piece of clothing to life, whether it's a shirt, shoes, dress or jeans. And I have found THE best pair of embroidered mules to share with you, seriously, when I saw these I instantly fell in love. And the best part? They're only £16.