Friday, 31 May 2013
I seem to be reaching for these printed trousers from H&M more and more when i'm deciding what to wear. I posted about them here at the beginning of the month because I was so impressed with the price. Since then i've been able to get a lot of wear out of them and they have been perfect for the mix of weather that we have had in the UK. I love them!
Do you have any printed trousers?
Thursday, 30 May 2013
I feel like it's been too long since I posted on here. To be honest, I think this has actually been the longest amount of time between posts, so i'm sorry for that. Life seems to have taken over recently and this afternoon is the first time that i've been able to just...sit down.
My relatives from America were still here last weekend so we had a barbecue. Luckily the sun decided to come out and it turned into one of the best days weather wise in a while. My mum made her famous trifle and asked me to make a pudding. So, I went with chocolate cupcakes because apart from brownies they seem to be the only type of cake that usually turns out pretty decent. It's a strange and rather complicated recipe but if you follow it properly then you should end up with some lovely light and chocolatey cupcakes. Yummmm.
You will need:
115g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
85g unsalted butter, room temp
175g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs
185g plain flour; sifted
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
250ml semi-skimmed milk, room temp
1 teaspoon good-quality vanilla extract
That's a lot of ingredients!
Step 1- Preheat the oven to 170ºC (fan)/190ºC/375ºF/gas mark 5 and line a muffin tray. You should be able to make about 12-16 regular cakes or if you want to make mini ones the mixture should make around 48.
Step 2- Break the chocolate into pieces and melt. I melted mine in the microwave and heated it for 30 seconds at a time. Then leave to cool slightly.
Step 3- In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar. This should take about 3-5 minutes with an electric hand mixer.
Step 4- Separate the eggs. In another bowl beat the egg yolks for several minutes.
Step 5- Slowly add the egg yolks to the creamed mixture and beat this well. Then, add the melted chocolate and beat well.
Step 6- Now combine the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a separate bowl.
(Sorry there's no photo of this oops. It wasn't a very interesting step anyway.)
Step 7- Put the milk in a jug and add the vanilla extract.
Step 8- Add one third of the flour to the chocolate mixture and beat well. Then, pour a third of the milk in and beat again. Repeat this until all of the flour and milk have been added. (Sorry again that there's no photo. I think I was concentration too hard on adding the ingredients.)
Step 9- In a new bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks start to form like this...
Step 10- Then carefully fold the egg whites into the batter with a metal spoon. Do not beat, I repeat...do not beat! As this will take all of the air out of the mixture.
Step 11- Again, I don't have a photo but you will end up with quite a liquid batter that looks almost like chocolate mousse. Spoon this mixture into the cases, filling them two thirds full and bake in the oven for 20-25 mins (regular size) or 15 mins for the smaller ones.
I decorated mine with chocolate butter icing, chocolate pretzels and broken up mint matchmakers but you can put whatever you like on top! I always find this the most exciting part of the process and love experimenting with new ways to decorate my cupcakes.
I know that this recipe seems fairly complex and would take a bit more time than a standard recipe but it's totally worth it because the cakes turn out that bit more fluffy and lighter and will rise without fail, which is probably the most important thing.
Let me know if you end up making your own or if you have any recipes to share!
Sunday, 26 May 2013
I've had another busy couple of weeks! What have you been up to?
Carved stones that I used to think were amazing when I was a child, my cat got in a fight with another cat so has scratches on his nose bless him, lots of body lotion to use up, goodies that my cousin very kindly brought over from the States, Maybelline polka dot nail polish, Smarties in a box- reminds me of childhood.
Pretty flowers in Salisbury, my brother came back from uni to visit, My Dad finally found me a coke with my name, trip to Windsor, phone broke so I didn't have one for three days -(which was actually quite nice) finally got a new one so got a new case, Bourjois BB Bronzing Cream- liking it so far.
Friday, 24 May 2013
Here's the second post in a series about organising. I have no idea how many parts there will be, but I do like to be organised so there may end up being a few! This time I want to talk about ways of storing jewellery as well as displaying it, much like the post about organising your wardrobe.
I wear a watch every day so like to have them out on the side as it's easier to just grab one when i'm getting ready. My favourite is the Nixon Kensington which i've had for almost four years now. I got the strap replaced recently but it's still going strong considering I wear it pretty much every day. I just had to give it a little mention because I love this watch so much and would highly recommend any Nixon watch because of their great quality.
I got the white stand from Amazon a while ago and it's great for displaying watches and bracelets. However, you can't fit a huge amount on there so it would be worth separating them over two stands in order to add more bracelets. It's made out of a fake white leather material and is pretty bad quality to be honest as the material can rip off easily when you take something off the stand, you just have to be careful.
I like to keep a selection of rings, necklaces and bracelets displayed on a cake stand. My Dad made this for me out of old plates last Christmas. He bought a special drill and attachment to hold the plates together, pretty clever! The jewellery that I have kept in their boxes, such as Tatty Devine pieces sit on the bottom plate of the stand.
I also like to hang necklaces that I wear often on the corners of my mirror and on pretty hooks.
For smaller necklaces I use this torso shaped stand. I just think it's a really pretty way of displaying more delicate necklaces. It means that I can keep them on my dressing table so that I know where to find them and they don't get tangled.
Recently, my jewellery collection seems to have grown so I do keep most of it in boxes. I'm looking for new ways to store my necklaces so that I can have them on display, so if you have any ideas please let me know!
How do you like to store your jewellery?
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
I've got a few posts lined up but haven't had time to put them together because I've been busy spending time with my relatives, who are visiting from the States. It's so much fun showing them all of my favourite places, so here are a few photos from the trips we've been on in the past couple of days. We had a picnic in windy weather conditions, went for a couple of lovely walks and ate lots of sweets and ice cream. The weather hasn't been brilliant, which is such a shame but that hasn't stopped us! However, the sun did show it's face towards the end of today. This was great because it meant they got to see the stunning Dorset coast in all it's glory.
What have you been up to this week?
Sunday, 19 May 2013
Bourjois is up there with Revlon as one of my favourite drugstore brands. I mean, they've now been around for 150 years so they've had a lot of practice! To celebrate they've released some lovely products and I was so happy when I saw that they have now created their own cream blushes. I decided that I only need one so chose the shade #03 Rose Tender which is a lovely soft rosy pink. I've really enjoyed using it it so i'm sure that over the next few weeks I will end up accumulating a couple more, if not all four shades.
The packaging is very similar to their little round pot blushes and they have a cream-to-powder technology which I actually really like because it doesn't feel heavy or sticky like some cream blushes. I use a Real Techniques contour brush to blend the blush in and it leaves a lovely natural glow to my cheeks. It also lasts a good 6-8 hours without fading and has a classic rose scent. I've worn this blush every day this week and it has really impressed me. I can't wait to try the other shades!
They were originally only available in Selfridges but are now sold all over the place for £7.99 which is pretty reasonable for such a lovely cream blush...I managed to pick this one up in Superdrug.
Disclosure: The views expressed are based on my own experience.
Saturday, 18 May 2013
I first came across a Kiko Make up Milano shop when I was in Italy a couple of summers ago. What immediately drew me to it was the extremely neat rows and rows of make up that I could see through the shop window from down the road. I was expecting it to be some high end cosmetic store with ridiculous prices, but as I got closer I realised that this was my kind of shop.
Firstly, they appeared to have every shade of nail polish going and secondly the price tag was way more reasonable than I was expecting. I stocked up on a couple of shades but managed to somehow restrain myself. I don't know what it is about nail polish but I feel like I can never have too many.
I then discovered that Kiko also have stores in the UK when I came across one at the Westfield in Stratford. In the UK these nail polishes only cost £2.50 which is even cheaper than Barry M so I decided to pick up a few more shades. I'm so glad I did because I think I might even prefer them.
Last week I wore this pretty pale pink shade on my nails and it's my favourite out of the bunch. It lasted for about 4 or 5 days without chipping too badly which is pretty good, considering i'm ready to change my nail polish after about 3 days. I always struggle applying lighter colours because you have too put on a few coats before your nails look even. However, I only used 2 coats of this polish and managed to achieve a pretty even finish. I find that these polishes are the perfect consistency, dry quickly and teamed up with a top coat look really lovely.
They also have a wide range of mascaras which i'm a big fan of too. Let me know if you've tried any polishes from kiko or any of their other products!
Disclosure: The views expressed are based on my own experience.