Friday 26 February 2016

All About That Base | Smashbox Hydrating Primer Review

Primer for dry skin

You ever get so much like a work of art that your face just cracks? Don't worry guys it's totally chic, just check out the Grecian temples, right? Well as shabby chic and so on trend as it may be for interiors and decorative purposes it may not have the desired effect on your face, but until a couple of months ago it was the look I was rocking almost all day every day. I fiddled and prodded my products, foundations, powders, setting sprays, you name it I had it, and it wasn't until a very fortuitous visit to Smashbox that I found my tried, tested and above all trusted primer simply wasn't doing the job anymore.

Now if you have been to Smashbox you'll know the choices they have on offer, colour correcting, pore minimizing, blemish control, and my new personal favourite, hydrating. The hydrating primer is blue in colour and is of a significantly runnier consistency than my previous photo finish primer, which is something I found quite difficult to adjust to, particularly because you need to treat it like an extra stage in the moisturising process as it takes a while to sink in to your skin.

The forumla, like previous Smashbox primers is oil free, lightweight but the difference with the hydrating primer is that it is tailored to dry, dull skin types. Smashbox credit this unique primer quality to Hydraplex which is an extract derived from desert plants - which is just as well because my skin can get as dry as the Sahara  especially in winter.

Since pairing this with my usual moisturising routine and using my trusty fresh nude foundation I haven't noticed any breakage, cracks or even slippage, something I was initially concerned about as the foundation does take a while to sink in to my skin. Not only does the primer help keep my make up in place all day but also helps me achieve that dewy, fresh complexion I covet so highly, a rarity in a product with the sea of mattified to the max faces I seem to see these days!

At £28 the primer is on the pricey side but lasts such a long time if you're careful with the tube that is! Now I won't lie, I have had a few accidental premature moments where the forumla has gone across the room and I've been frugally scraping it from the mirror / carpet / cat but if that's the only problem I have had then I'm happy to endure!

Well ladies and gents, I hope you enjoyed this wee tale of how I beat my mosaic face, have you ever suffered a case? What products do you covet as a dry skin sufferer, I'd love to hear your suggestions and reviews in the comments below, come share your favourites with me on Twitter, or of course if you'd like to see more of my non matte, non dry, dewy, fresh face you can keep up with me on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, feeling dewy and funky fresh.


Wednesday 24 February 2016

Right on CUE | Meat the new Faces of BBQ

Restaurant Review
Here come the meat sweats guys! You have been warned.

If you have been keeping a spy on my Instagram feed of late you'll have noticed I have been a bit of a pig! And why not, Aberdeen has been booming with new restaurants, take aways and become and all round foodie heaven these last couple of months, and last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited along to one such delight, CUE.

'Food is close to every breathing and passionate person’s heart, unquestionably Barbecue and wood cooked flavour evokes a bygone instinct, a carnivorous streak. The Pitboss peers into the blue haze from within the smoker. From your seat in the CUE you can smell the sizzling pork shoulders and sausage rings filling the air. The aroma makes your stomach growl with anticipation of the garlic sausage and moist brisket on order. Watering mouth and you know you have ordered more than you can eat, you relive the mantra: “Rub Me, Smoke Me, Sauce Me, Eat Me'  - So say the pioneers of 'this Barbecue thing' in the Granite City.

Tucked away in a cosy nook in the centre of Aberdeen you'll find the smokiest, sizzling new meat joint there is, offering a little bit of everything from a fun family atmosphere, guaranteed at only the greatest barbecues, cocktails for the sophistocat in you and let's of course not forget a beast of a meat feast (if that's your thing that is!) which is exactly what the brains behind CUE had in store for our visit.

Cooked and cured to perfection using their state of the art smoker imported all the way from 'murica you can have meat and eat it too, enjoy beef, briskets, sausages, pulled pork, and don't worry there are plenty of delectable dishes for the veggies too, CUE seem to have all of the BBQ bases covered, paired with their co owners saucey brand, Angus & Oink and they've perfected the recipe for a total winner! My personal favourite and recommendation  from their menu would be anything containing pulled pork and Angus & Oink BBQ Sauce, or if you're feeling particularly daring their Voodoo Mango sauce packs a sure fire punch destined to put a tear in even the most hardened spice addicts eye.

Are you salivating yet? Told you there would be meat sweats, so if you're looking for a steak, beef or even just a burger with a little bit of sizzle, spice or smoke there's only one place for you in the Granite City! Right on CUE for spring and of course the upcoming festivities for Mothers Day and the Easter Holidays there's fun for all of the family, whether you're popping in for a quick cocktail, sitting down to an epic family feast or even if you're just nipping in to have a gander at the murals and their restaurant mascot, Unihog.

Okay guys now that the meat sweats have well and truly set in I'll bid you a BBQ do, all in all I enjoyed my time at CUE, and as a meat and BBQ lover I can't wait to take my hubby along to enjoy a good ole' Granite City night out. I just also want to say a big thank you to Just Julia for organising another great blogger event  and to Scott from Angus & Oink for the very informative and enjoyable tour and of course the team at CUE for the fabulous food and great atmosphere! Hopefully you'll manage to get yourselves along to CUE when you next have a BBQ craving, or perhaps you already have, I'd love to hear what you thought of the menu, be sure to leave your thoughts and salivations in the comments below, come share with me on Twitter or if you'd just like to keep up with my meal plans be sure to follow Granite City Girl on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, I'd have to say they're right on CUE.

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 19 February 2016

A Cat-ch Up and a Cuppa | The Cat In the Window Cafe Aberdeen

Cat cafe Aberdeen

Granite City cat lovers and caffeine junkies rejoice as Aberdeen celebrates the arrival of our first ever cat cafe. Last week I was lucky enough to hop along to the 'soft opening' week of the Cat in the Window Cafe in the Netherkirkgate area of Aberdeen's city centre to help settle in some mischievous moggies and see just what all the furry fuss was about before their official opening of the 13th of February 2016 (just in time for Valentines - convenient right?!)

It isn't every day you can say you feel right at home in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city centre, but it's the only way I can think to describe how you'll feel upon entering the Cat in the Window Cafe. From hanging up your coat on arrival and putting on your slippers (for health and safety reasons) to chilling on the biggest comfiest bean bag you've ever seen, and let's of course not forget the most homely comfort of all, lots and lots of fur babies.

I must give ultimate props to the interiors team behind Cat in the Window, their style jumped straight from all of the shabby chic pinterest boards those of us in the blogosphere seem to covet most highly, and of course looks like something straight from the dreams of the cuddle creatures who dwell within. Between scattered wooden fixtures to keep claws in check to plenty of nooks and crannys to climb, crawl and cavort and there are even toys for the cats to play with, there never seemed to be a dull moment throughout our visit.

Now guys I'm going to level with you, I was so busy playing with my newfound feline friends that I didn't even get a chance to sample any cakes, biscuits, tray bakes, not even a simple sandwich, in fact I settled for a latte that I didn't even finish (but let's take a moment to appreciate the cat inspired crockey shall we?) So apologies for those who came here for a foodie review and got more fur than they bargained for, but what can I say? I'm perhaps more cat lady than cupcakes than I originally thought.

Not only does the cat cafe serve to put a smile on the faces of local cat lovers but a higher purpose as well, the owners hope the cafe will help open peoples hearts to possibly rescuing their own mischievous moggy from the shelter and help find some of those lonely felines out there a forever home. (Can you tell I lugged in to the STV news feature while it was shot? Whoops)

Now you know where I stand on all things cat cafes, fur babies and of course cake, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, have you ever visited another cat cafe before or are you one of those you people!? Leave your experiences, comments, thoughts and cat musings below, come share in the cat lady crazy over on Twitter or if you'd just like to laze and waste the days away with me you can follow Granite City Girl on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, cat-ching up with a cuppa!

H.Elizabeth x

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Pure Gym | Pure Loser Weight Loss Course

Pure Gym

Today I'm coming at you with a rather special 'what to expect post' as you guys will probably know in the past I have covered a wide range of things from pure gym including kettlebells and spin most recently and I'd like to share my most recent gym going endeavour with you which is a little different to the usual half hour class and you're outta there that I'm used to, and that ladies and gentleman is the Pure Loser 6 week course.

It was the New Year (figures!) when I saw Pure Gym advertising their weight loss programme, I was always quite put off of trying it before now because the programme was very restricted and focused solely on what you can't eat rather than easing you in with a balanced diet, but since their course restructure the options feel a bit more open and therefore I was far more willing to give it a bash. The course itself lasts for 6 weeks and costs £20 in it's entirety, and includes a binder full of foodie and fitness info, a food diary, nutritionals as well as a weekly weigh in to keep you in check.

The first week the course was explained to us and we had our first ever weigh in and body fat measurements taken, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that in week one I had lost 3lbs which was fantastic as my weight plateaued months ago! Our trainer and holy spiritual weight loss guide, Andrew, is great he is full of tips for the week and recently introduced us to my new favourite snack psyllium husk with mixed seeds (don't worry domestic goddess post pending!)

I'm not going to lie the toughest part has been keeping myself in check during the evenings, I went vegetarian for a week and a bit but hubby wasn't all too pleased with the amount of quorn I was serving up nightly, he eventually had enough and succumbed to a McDonalds (and a Dominos, and a Burger King etc...) Since I work a 9am to 5pm job and attend the gym until around 7.30pm most evenings, I'm shattered by the time I get home and need to get myself into more of a routine of Sunday batch cooking - maybe you guys could act as my Sunday alarm and reminders? (please!)

To date I have lost 4.5lbs and ideally I'd love to lose 3 more before the formerly fat lady sings, I have upped my game in the gym, cleared my cupboards of smackery and asked my husband to hide everything else (though I reckon he has just hidden things in high places!) so as Shia says, JUST DO IT!

Have you guys ever joined a weight loss programme or had personal training sessions at the gym? I'd love to hear how you got on and how you managed your work / home / gym balance! Be sure to leave all thoughts and kindly comments in the box below, come share your experiences with my on Twitter or if you would just like to keep up with how I am getting on be sure to follow Granite City Girl on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, JUST DOIN' IT!

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 12 February 2016

Granite City Girl's Wedding Photo Diary

 Reminisce with me today as I share my favourite memories from our wee wedding and Cornish adventure a year and a half into married bliss in celebration of all things love this Valentines! 
No wedding is without faults, and for our first wedding blunder I give you our vows; during the recital of our vows the registrar called me Emma... queue awkward silences and Friends references!

Until next time folks, sincerely,

Mrs H.Elizabeth Cosgrove Adams x

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Zoeva | En Taupe Brush Set Review

Some may say it is a stretch to say make up brushes have changed their lives, which yes I agree I am not one of those people, however what I will say is that they have assisted in my morning facial overhaul and helped me go from zombie, to well.. kinda glam zombie heading out the door.

I first heard of the Zoeva brushes when I started watching make up artist and Glasgow glam gal Jamie Genevieve, I was astounded by the looks and styles she was able to achieve using these wee wonder brushes and had to get a piece of that for myself. So after Christmas I saved my pennies and invested in the Zoeva En Taupe eye brush set which I purchased off of Beauty Bay for the reasonable price of £35.

Being that I am a blogger who is relatively anti all things rose gold I opted for the more understated, and if I say luxurious looking, Taupe collection which includes, a luxe soft definer brush (227), luxe crease brush (228), luxe pencil brush (230), luxe precise shader brush (238), wing liner brush (317) and a brow line brush (322) They come packaged in a taupe clutch bag and each were individually wrapped for protection (safety first kids) and I am trying my utmost to keep them clean and tidy and generally nice, in fact I didn't use them for about a month when I first got them!

As I have never really paid much attention to the tools in my eye make up kit I was a bit sceptical as to whether or not these brushes would be able to do the job. My first impression was they were very light and fluffy and I worried they wouldn't pick up the product very well and that their breadth would be a bit too much for my at times piggy wee eyelids, creating an almighty chaos of colour all over my face, or otherwise achieve a drag queen like look that I'm not emotionally ready for quite yet. But I was pleasantly surprised.

These brushes are super easy to use and with the guidance and assistance of beauty guru's worldwide and You Tubers all over the internet I have been able to achieve a few rather daring looks, if I do say so myself, though they have just been to sit in my pjs or clean the house! I have been using these with a number of palettes from make up revolution to my one and only Mac palette I was gifted for Christmas so luckily these brushes do not discriminate. I love how soft they are on my eyelids, I have previously been used to putting my eyes through their paces with ill sharpened eyeliners, a tonne of lash glue and of course the stubby coarse brushes to apply my shadows but no more, I say no more! My favourite brushes to use have been 227, 228 and 230, simply because they help me create softer looks and blend eyeshadow like a dream.

I'm looking forward to potentially sharing some more daring looks with you guys in the future, who knows perhaps this may make me a little more adventurous with my face! Overall as a starter set I would recommend these as they give you a decent amount of brushes without overwhelming you, they are all pretty self explanatory with their functions and they're stylishly sleek to boot.

Have you ever tried anything from the Zoeva cosmetics line? I'd love to hear your thoughts on all things brushes and beauty in the comments below, come have a natter with me about them on Twitter or if you'd like to keep up to date with my latests be sure to follow Granite City Girl on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, blending like a dream.

H.Elizabeth x

Friday 5 February 2016

Have a healthy pancake day | Super Speedy Protein Pancakes

Easy Healthy Recipe

These guys have been everywhere right now, you can't turn a corner without someone shouting PROTEIN in your face, and given for some time now I have been looking to replace my trusty breakfast consisting of a hearty bowl of coco pops (if it ain't broke right?) I thought I would give these a go. Now upon hearing what to ingredients you're just going to combine to whip these up they don't sound altogether very appetising and if I'm totally honest in the future I will be adding another accompanying fruit and may even invest in some protein powder but for something super quick and easy to throw together in a rush these have your back.


1 Mashed Banana
1 Egg


Mixing Bowl
Frying Pan
Fish Slice


1. Whisk together your mashed banana and egg in a bowl then add the mixture to a preheated, non stick frying pan (and then laugh as you attempt to keep it in a 'pancake like' shape)

2. Give it a couple of flips (keep all swearing to yourselves though) and make sure it is properly cooked on both sides, and voila you are sorted.

As you can see I had mine with a piece of toast which was lovely, however I do think these pancakes on their own are a little bland and they could be doing with some cinnamon, a sprinkle of sugar or just something to give it a bit more depth. Check me going all Gordon Ramsay! 

Hopefully you health nuts and fitness freaks appreciated this super healthy, speedy version of protein pancakes, I'll be enjoying these instead of my coco pops as soon as I have found the perfect flavour combos, what would you recommend if you've had them before? Leave your suggestions in the comments below, come share your links with me on Twitter, or if you'd like to keep up to date with my weight losses and woes along the way be sure to follow Granite City Girl on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks, PROTEIN!

H.Elizabeth x 

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Domestic Goddess | Home made Chilli Wedges

This post has been quite a long time coming, as you'll have noticed we haven't had a 'domestic goddess' post on the blog for a good while now, but don't worry that doesn't mean our household has been surviving solely on McDonalds and takeaways, that just means we've been busy bees experimenting in the kitchen to come up with some more lovelies that are easy to make, taste fantastic and bonus points, they aren't going to give you that spare tyre some of my older recipes would, Creme Egg Brownie I'm looking at you!

Given my recent health kick and my general obsession for all things food, I thought I would combine the two and share my favourite dinner accompaniment, or rather my favourite thing to stuff my face with after a long ass day, home made chilli wedges.

Baking Tray
Chopping Board
Sharp Knife
Fish Slice  

4 Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes
Olive Oil (I use garlic infused)
1 Cal Oil Spray
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Chilli Flakes


1. Preheat the oven to 200C 

2. Wash your tatties thoroughly and chop them in half lengthwise and then another couple of times lengthwise (obviously it will depend on the size of your potatoes) then cut them in half. 

3. Add them to your plastic bowl with a few teaspoonfuls of your olive oil and give them a good coat (use your hands but remember to wash em first!)

4. Add a dash of salt and pepper and some paprika to the potatoes, you can use as much or as little as you like depending on how spicy you like your food. Then finally sprinkle with a good dousing of chilli flakes (can you tell I like my food spicy?)

5. Spritz your baking tray with a few of your 1 cal spray and spread your potatoes evenly across the tray. Add them to the oven and keep an eye on them for about half an hour.

6. Serve with sweet chilli or garlic sauce (my all time favourite!)

These have been my favourite thing to throw together and chuck in the oven recently, and the beauty is you can have them any way you like. With cheese, with garlic or any spice or herb you choose, the sky is the limit, just don't go crazy with wedgie power!

Hopefully you have enjoyed this little 'domestic goddess' comeback, I just wanted to give you something easy oozy for beginners who maybe work late, go to the gym or just straight up can't be bothered! If you'd like to see more recipes and easy foodie ideas on Granite City Girl be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below, I really love hearing from you guys, you can also catch up with me on Twitter or more from Granite City Girl on Bloglovin.

Until next time folks.

H.Elizabeth x

Monday 1 February 2016

#AbzChat with Granite City Girl

Aberdeen Bloggers

This week I will be hosting #AbzChat, the dedicated Twitter chat for bloggers or word enthusiasts across Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland which takes place every Wednesday from 8pm - 9pm, just in case you missed the HUGE image above!

Now into our third week of nattering we're a friendly, open bunch who talk about everything from beauty, blogging and lifestyle to films, books and social media. We'd love for you to join us this Wednesday from 8pm - 9pm where our topic will be, 'This or That' an informal choice session where we can find out a bit more about each others interests, likes and dislikes. Hope to catch you there and don't forget to use the #.

Until next time folks,

H.Elizabeth x
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