Friday, 20 April 2018

Lemon & Strawberry Cupcake Recipe

So basically I have had enough of the dull winter weather and I am craving the sunny days so much that I decided to bake cupcakes that for me sum up summer. I got inspired for this recipe by Jane's Patisserie (the QUEEN of baking blogs !!) but instead of using Raspberry like her post I swapped it for the strawberry and used my own lemon drizzle recipe.

For the Cupcakes

125g soft unsalted butter 125g caster sugar 125g self raising flour 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda zest of 2 lemons 2 large eggs 1.5-2 tbsp lemon juice
Extra strawberry jam

For the Icing

500g Icing Sugar
250g Butter
1.5 tbsp lemon juice
2tbsp strawberry jam

Freeze Dried Strawberry Pieces for Decoration

Method

To make the cupcakes:
Pre-heat oven to 170 degree Celsius. 
Cream together the butter and sugar until its smooth.
Add the rest of ingredients (not the strawberry jam!) and mix everything together until the mixture is lump free and smooth. Add more lemon juice if you want to but I find 2tbsp is enough with the zest.
Spoon the mixture into the cases and bake them in the middle of the oven for 20-22 minutes. You will know they're cooked by putting a toothpick in the middle of each one and pulling it out clean.
When the cakes are out of the oven and cooled down use an apple corer (or something similar!) to hollow out the centre of each cake. Whisk up some extra strawberry jam (normally a couple of table spoons) and put it into a piping bag. Snip the end of the piping bag off and fill up the cupcake centre with the jam.

To make the icing:
Whisk the butter on its own for at least 5 minutes to soften and lighten it. Then add the icing sugar a little bit at a time and continue to mix it until the icing sugar is soft (add a splash of milk if its needed.)
Split the icing into two bowls and add the lemon juice to one and the strawberry jam to the other and mix them well. If you want the jam icing more pick simply add a dash of pink gel food colouring and mix it. If you find eh lemon icing goes to soft (more of a liquid!) then just add some more icing sugar to make it stronger.
Then get a piping bag and a piping tip (I used Wilton 1M) and put in jam icing first. If you use a platte knife it makes it easier as you can put it in flat making it easier to put the lemon icing on top.
Then once the cakes are completely cooled pipe on your icing. Then decorate them how you like, I used Freeze dried Strawberry Pieces but you could always use real strawberry's in the summer!

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Friday, 13 April 2018

My Experience On Learning To Drive

Now I know for most people learning to drive isn't a big deal at all and as soon they turn 17 they book their lessons and pass within a matter or months but for me, it was the complete opposite. Not only was I not really bothered about learning at 17 but I was also absolutely bricking it. Hence why I put it of for 2 years (and why it took me nearly 18 months to pass !!)

Let's start at the beginning. I was nearly 19 when I first booked my lessons. I had been at my apprenticeship (now my full time job) for well over a year and I was getting so fed up with relying on my parents for lifts there and back everyday. As much as I was a nervous wreck about the thought of doing it, I knew I had to bite the bullet. Also, I knew I could stop at any time if I really really hated it so before I knew it I booked in a block of lessons with the same instructor that my sister passed with. A couple of weeks later it was my first lesson and I was RUBBISH. The nerves basically got the better of me and I couldn't even use the steering wheel properly. I was a shaky nervous wreck BUT I stuck at it and had constant weekly lessons. However just as I was getting ready to book my theory, my instructor got a new job and that was that. No more lessons. It sucked as I was just starting to build my confidence up and now it was completely knocked back down.
I found a new instructor a couple of months later and again, booked another block of lessons. She made me book in for my theory within a few weeks and surprise surprise, I failed. I didn't revise and I was SO nervous that I was not prepared AT ALL. My biggest tip is to deffo pay the £4.99 for the official DVLA app because when I booked my 2nd one I used the app everyday for practice questions and hazard videos and I passed !!!! (only just mind, but hey ho... it still counts !!!!)
Now I had done my theory we started practicing manouvers and talking about booking my practical test and this is where things started to go wrong again. My instructor had quite a lot going on personally and my lessons started becoming rushed and she was becoming very distracted which did not help my anxiety or nerves at all. Basically, my test was booked for June 2017 and the lesson before I just knew I wasn't ready. My instructor was rushing me, not letting me practice manurers properly and there were things that I still hadn't learnt but she didn't seem to care! I ended up getting out the car and breaking down to my parents about it and ended up cancelling my test and quitting lessons there and then. Again, my confidence was knocked back to square one. However, I wasn't giving up. I had come such a long way that by now I just wanted to get it done.
So, I turned to Facebook to find a new instructor and was recommend a new one. And she was BRILLIANT. She had the patience of an absolute saint, understood everything about my worries and anxiety and even put up with a breakdown I had when doing a mock test (yes I cried, yes it was awful but she handled it amazingly!!) She even let me listen to Ed Sheehan whilst driving to calm my nerves which was amazing.
So I was finally ready to book my practical test. My instructor was brilliant and didn't push or rush me at all and let me book it in my own time. So I booked it for the end of October and I felt properly ready for the first time ever. My instructor even spoke to the examiner beforehand and asked them to allow me to have music on in the background to help calm my nerves which was a big help (I definitely recommend it as it gives you something else to think about and something else to fill awkward silences !!)

So, Test one.... I failed HA. I woke up that morning feeling so weirdly and strangely calm that I kinda knew in my head that I wasn't going to pass, which looking back now was hint one that I wasn't going too. Basically I failed 3 different ways. One of which was pulling out of the test centre and stalling in the middle of the road which meant a car couldn't pass and had to stop, so it didn't start great lets be honest. I then reversed up the kerb on my manoeuvre (oops) and then moved off with my handbrake on 3 times (you can't have 3 minors in the same category which was exactly that !!) But anyway, because I knew that I had failed before the examiner had even told me, I was actually okay about it and just put it behind me and moved on.

Test two was booked for 3 days before Christmas (literally the last test of 2017) and I passed !! To be honest, I still can't believe I did it. I had to take the new driving test this time round which meant 2 new manoeuvres and using a sat nav but it was okay. My examiner was a gem and we just talked about our plans for Christmas the whole time. We also got stuck in horrible traffic so my test actually lasted 20 more minutes than it should of but again, it was okay ! I passed with 3 minors (again, I'm not quite sure how) which were for really silly things but that doesn't matter. As long as you get less than 15 and no majors, you've done it!! When she told me that I had passed I was so relieved I actually cried. Like FULL ON cried. I cried so much my instructor thought I had failed again before she got in the car !! It was tears of relief, happiness and also tears of "I've actually bloody done it" I'm not gunna lie.

So basically, if you're like me and putting learning to drive due to fear, anxiety or finding the whole idea of it super stressful then I hope this post helps. please don't give up if something goes wrong - I had THREE instructors but I made it work!! And in a way I'm glad I had to go through the shit second one because my third instructor was an absolute gem. Things do happen for a reason !! Even now, I'm still a tad nervous driving. I literally drive to work and back (which takes ten mins...) by myself and apart from that I have someone with me. I've only done the motorway once with my dad and a multi-story once with my sister. It takes time but I know it'll all fall into place eventually. Trust me, if I can do it, you can too!!

Helpful Tips

- NEVER compare your journey to someone else, it too me around 18 months and 3 instructors until I passed whereas for someone else it could take 3 months and 1 instructor. Whatever you do, DON'T rush it and put pressure on yourself. Take your time!!
-Rescue Remedy Blackcurrant Pastilles are the best thing ever at helping to calm you before a lesson or your test. I used to take one before I started driving and they worked a miracle !
-Do not let failing your theory or practical test put you off. I did both of mine 2nd time, you can do this !!
-Start every lesson with a positive attitude otherwise theres no point even being in the car.
-If you're not comfortable with your instructor, change them !! Learning to drive is such a big (and damn expensive) thing to do that It should be 100% right !
I got this car sign kindly sent to me from Signomatic and I love it! They have loads of different designs to chose from and customise, not just car signs so definitely take a look !!
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Friday, 6 April 2018

My Go-To Weekend Outfit

As much I love scrolling through the new in sections of Topshop and ASOS a few times a day, I constantly find myself wearing the same things over and over again and recently it's been this one outfit. I loooove the pop of the colour from the rainbow stripes and the clash of double denim that I always swore I would never do but hey ho, how times change.

Let's start with ~this~ rainbow stripe top which is available in regular, tall AND petite (and it's less than £20, what a bloody bargain !!) I've got loads of these cropped long sleeved tops in loads of colours but this one is by my far my fave, it's even a lil bit glittery around the neckline. WHAT MORE COULD A GAL WANT ?!?!? On it's own or with a denim jacket it's bringing all the pride and 90's vibes and its perfect for the spring/summer months when we hopefully will have better weather !! Also I'm going to Disneyland Paris in May (ahhhhhhh !!) and I'm already thinking of the dreamy insta's I could get wearing it...
Next is the double denim thing which I know is a bit like marmite. You either bloody love and own it or you stay far far away and I'm sorry to say this but I'm a big lover of it. Especially the contrast between the blue and black, it's just so easy for a weekend that's not to hot but not to cold. Something we have ALOT of here in England.

I have a few different denim jackets from wool lined to not and black to blue, they're just the perfect throw on extra layer. This one is currently in the sale and you better snap it up quick, it's a bit of bargain.
The jeans are classic Topshop Jamie (these ones !!) which again you can also get in Tall or Petite. They fit perfectly and for me, they last agesss where as other black pairs I've had in the past have all faded so quickly.
Recently I've been loving wearing trainers instead of boots for a change and to transition into spring. I recently picked up these and I LOVE them. I don't own a pair of black trainers and I'm so glad I now do because I haven't stopped wearing them since. I've deffo got my eye on a few more pairs that I can see myself purchasing just in time for summer (and Disneyland !!)

SHOP THE LOOK

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Sunday, 1 April 2018

An Honest Glossier Review... Is It Worth It?

I feel like when Glossier announced it's delivery to the UK the whole blogging internet world went a lil bit stir crazy and rightly so, the brand is pretty fab. I've waited until now to make my first order as I wanted to be 100% happy with what I bought and after reading and researching what feels like a million posts and videos of reviews I wanted to share with you what I finally decided to pick up and what I think about them.

MILKY JELLY CLEANSER

Now this is my favourite thing I picked up by far. I'm always on the look for new cleansers to try especially with my dry, red and spotty skin. After hearing so many rave reviews about this I had high expectations and unbelievably it has lived up to them. As a quick morning cleanse this has become a staple in my skincare routine as it leaves my skin feeling soft and a bit more perked up than it was before and I definitely recommend it for that !

BIRTHDAY BALM DOT COM

Now what more do I need to say apart from a lip balm that slightly shimmers and smells like bloody birthday cake...?? It's FAB. As well as that it's actually a pretty damn good lip balm as well, it comes out the tube quite thick but it soon blends and smooths over your lips so its not to tacky. It's healed my dry cracked lips from this weather too so its a bit of a miracle worker !!


MEGA GREENS GALAXY PACK

If I'm being completely honest, this is a tad bit expensive for what it is, for £18 I just expected a little bit more. BUT... that doesn't mean it's not good, for me it's just not £18 good. It is really creamy, dries evenly and leaves your skin feeling soft but I don't know, it just didn't  "wow"  me. It is good for a quick little pick me up but it doesn't do anything life changing. I am interested in trying the Moisturising Moon Mask so maybe that'll suit my skin better !!

I bought the shade 'CUB' and I love this. It's super creamy, lasts all day and it's just lovely for an everyday wash of colour and shimmer. It's not to overpowering but can be built up or used as a base for a stronger look if you fancy. But for me, this is just great on its own for an easy quick eye look. I definitely want to get some more shades soon (I'm thinking 'FAWN' and 'SLIP'...)

HALOSCOPE

I picked up the shade 'QUARTZ' and I was a bit let down. I know the basis of Glossier makeup is to be simple and natural but for me this is just a sheer wash of shimmer that to be honest, doesn't really show up on the skin (under or on top of makeup) and as a girl who likes a bold highlight it just didn't tick all the boxes. However, if you're someone who loves a natural glossy look then this would be perfect for you as it does give your skin a dewy gloss, just not a strong highlight.

SO... there are definitely a few products that I will be repurchasing (Balm Dot Com and Milky Jelly Cleanser!!), products that I want to try more off (Lidstar, I want all the shades...) but there are definitely a couple I won't be repurchasing. Overall though I'm very happy with my first Glossier order and I can myself making another one very very soon...!!

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