Sunday, 25 January 2015

Three bakes anyone can make!

Hello everyone,

I'm no expert and I definitely need to improve on my decorating skills but I absolutely love to bake. As I have done quite a bit of baking the past few weeks, I thought it would be nice to share the recipes with you so maybe you can try them too. All of these recipes are really easy and fun to make so you should definitely give one of them a try! My favourite has to be the gingerbread men; they tasted amazing and were so fun to decorate! What kind of things to you like to bake? If you have any baking recipes on your blog feel free to share them as I would love to read them!


Chocolate chip shortbread

150g plain flour                                1. Put both the plain flour and cornflour into a mixing bowl.
25g cornflour                                    2. Add the butter and rub with fingertips to form a breadcrumb consistency.             
125g butter                                         3. Stir in sugar and chocolate then squeeze the crumbs together into a ball.
50g caster sugar                              4. Press evenly into a shallow cake tin and cook for 25-30 mins on gas mark 3.
75g chocolate chunks                   5. Remove from oven and sprinkle a light coating of caster sugar.
                                                                 6. Once cooled, cut into 12 bars.
Gingerbread men

250g plain flour                                   1. Place flour, bicarbonate of soda and ginger into a bowl.
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda                 2. Add the butter and rub together until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
2 tsp ground ginger                           3. Gently beat the egg and golden syrup together to form a dough.
125g butter                                             4. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to a ½cm thickness.
175g brown sugar                                5. Using cutters, cut out the gingerbread shapes and place onto trays.
1 egg                                                           6. Ensure the gingerbread men are spaced apart to avoid molding together.
4 tbsp golden syrup                           7. Bake for 12-15 minutes at gas mark 4.
                                                                      8. Take out of the oven and leave to cool for 1o minutes on the tray.
Ready to roll icing                               9. Once cooled for 10 minutes, move them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Writing icing                                         10. Decorate however you like using icing and cake decorations!
Sprinkles
Butter-cream fairy cakes

110g flour                                               1. Place margarine and caster sugar into a bowl and mix until creamy.
110g caster sugar                                2. Beat in the eggs, adding a little bit at a time.
110g margarine                                   3. Pour in the flour and gently fold.
2 eggs                                                       4. Spoon the mixture into cake cases so they are about half full.
140g butter                                            5. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes at gas mark 4.
280g icing sugar                                 6. Take out of oven and allow to completely cool.
Cake decorations                                 7. For the butter cream icing, beat butter into a bowl until soft and then add half                                                                                                                                                                   the icing and beat until smooth.
                                                                     8. Spoon icing into a piping bag and pipe onto each cupcake.
                                                                     9. To finish your cupcakes off, decorate with sprinkles of your choice.
Which recipe will you be trying out? From now on I will be putting up a new blog post every Sunday, so make sure to keep your eye on the blog - I will be reviewing my favourite perfume next week! I hope you all have a lovely week.


Lauren
xxx

Saturday, 3 January 2015

January Wishlist | ASOS


Hello everyone,

January is always a tough month, especially this year as I have exams to revise for, essays to write AND a dissertation to start! Shopping is always a great stress reliever and it's always nice to have a nice pair of sparkly shoes or a new dress as a reward from all your hard work which is why I've created this wishlist! This month's wishlist is all from ASOS; I really wish I could afford everything on here but think I may just treat myself to one or two things with my Christmas money. I've been loving all the sparkle and glitter trends this winter hence my wishlist is very sparkly! The stripey jumper is probably the first thing I'll buy, it looks so comfy for chilled out days!





































1. Coat with Seam Detail in Textured Wool, £90. The colour of this alone makes me want to buy it. I think if it was half price then I probably would! With the stunning coral colour, this coat could be worn through to Spring!
2. Nonna Cut Out Glitter Lace Shoes, £24.99. These glittery nude heels would look lovely with any party dress, I really want to get them! At only £24.99 I think I might have to!
3. Pencil Skirt with Scallop Hem, £22. Thinking ahead for when I need to buy interview clothes, I think
4. Petite Dress with Embellished Collar Stand, £45. This dress is so beautiful and simple with a hint of sparkle around the collar - perfect for a night out drinking cocktails with the girls!
5. Gold Glitter Heels, £110. These are sooo expensive but it is a 'wish' list after all and I wish for these sparkly shoes! I extremely doubt I'll get them *cries* but I've wanted a pair of glittery heels for ages! 
6. Top with Long Sleeves in Contrast Stripe, £18. I'm in need of more long sleeved tops and this one is perfect; the stripes, the colour and the fit. It looks so comfy and would be great to wear on lazy days.
7. Embellished Scuba Skater Dress, £65. I love the fit of this dress, it's so flattering and gorgeous. The neutral colour makes the dress perfect for all occasions and with the added embellishments there's no need to accessorize!

What do you currently have on your wishlist?



Lauren
xxx

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Monthly highlights | December


Hello everyone,

I have definitely had more than my fair share of roast dinners this month! At the beginning of the month, my housemates and I donned our Christmas jumpers and celebrated Christmas together early. We had a wonderful roast which included copious amounts of crispy roast potatoes, honey glazed parsnips, turkey, pigs in blankets and more with lashings of gravy. After filling our bellies with far too much food, we spent the rest of the night opening our secret Santa presents, listening to Christmas music and watching Arthur Christmas.



































A few weeks later, I went home to spend Christmas with my family. I love Christmas purely for the fact that I get to see my whole family and in an environment filled with love, joy and happiness. I am so lucky to have such amazing friends and family! Christmas Eve was spent with my best friend and having a good old catch up and girly gossip in Prezzo before watching Annie at the cinema; the perfect heart-warming film to watch right before Christmas. Christmas day was spent opening presents, eating far too much food, laughing and joking with family and watching Christmassy TV. I received many lovely things this Christmas including a new phone, perfume, baking products and more...I might do a 'What I got for Christmas' post if anyone would be interested in reading it? On boxing day we all went to my granny's house for another roast which was absolutely delicious (she's an amazing cook!). It's fair to say I have eaten way too much whilst being at home! 

What have been your highlights from December? I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas!

Lauren
xxx

Sunday, 21 December 2014

New Year's Inspiration


Hello everyone,

2014  seems to have flown by hasn't it? It's almost that time of year again to welcome a new year, 2015, with a sore head (from a few too many cocktails the night before) and begin the New Year's resolutions and goals that we have set for the year ahead. The start of a new year is a great way to start afresh and make any big changes and with the amount  of inspiration around the blogosphere at this time of year to motivate change and improvement, you are sure to feel prepared to face the challenges you have given yourself for the new year. If you believe you can do something and really want something to happen then you can do it and it will happen! 

I tend not to do New Year's resolutions, as like most people, I cannot stick to them for 365 days! Instead, I like to look back on the past year and make a list of all the things that I have achieved and accomplished and then following from that list, write down the things that still need to be improved and the things I want to achieve and do throughout the upcoming year. I think the main thing I want to achieve in 2015 (as well as a 2:1 in my degree) is to enjoy and make the most of the time I have left with my friends at uni. The past three years have gone by so quickly; it seems like yesterday when I was enrolling for my course! I have made so many great friends, friends that I will keep forever, and made so many amazing memories that I will always cherish. I feel like this year will zoom by so I want to enjoy every moment of the time I have left at uni because I cannot go back, I only get this experience once and I want to make the most of it before it's too late! 
Things I've learnt this year:
. I've learnt how to cook more meals (not just pasta!)
That blogging and doing a degree is more difficult than it seems!
That I am actually quite alright as I left 2nd year with a 2:1 
To appreciate my family as you never know what's around the corner
That I'm becoming a more confident person year after year
That the only things that truly matter at the end of the day are your family and friends


What I hope to achieve in 2015:
. To graduate with at least a 2:1 in my degree
Be happy and more positive
. To find a job, any job, until I find my dream career
. Make the most of the rest of my time at uni and enjoy myself!


I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and a wonderful New Year filled with lots of happiness, success and achievement! Have you made any New Year's resolutions? Have you managed to keep last year resolutions?


Lauren
xxx

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Christmas Gift Guide with Toxic Fox | Women


Hello everyone,

Known as the 'gift hero's', Toxic fox are one of the fastest growing gift retailers in the UK selling a range of personalised and unique gifts. How many of you struggle to know what to buy for certain people at Christmas? I know I do! Toxic Fox eradicates this problem as there are so many unique gifts which I'm sure your awkward uncle/fussy sister/got everything granny doesn't already have (check out their Christmas gift guide videos here). The lovely team at Toxic Fox kindly sent me some of the top Christmas gifts for women which I am going to review for you today.
The fashionista. This is definitely my favourite! I bought a Claireabella bag a few years ago and still love it today and now both of my sisters have one too! I think this is such a lovely gift for a sister or friend which can be personalised to look like them. Starting at £34.99 for a medium jute bag, I think this is quite a good price as the bag is made from a good quality material and is sturdy enough to put college books in. The detail on each hand painted *Claireabella bag is beautifully intrinsic with elements of diamante and glitter; perfect for the super girly girl! Aside from the original Claireabella bags, they also have a special edition range if you're looking for a touch of extra specialness- these Christmas Jute bags are gorgeous!
The baker. This *Messy Baker apron would make a lovely gift for the keen baker of the family. I know I'm a messy baker myself so this is greatly appreciated and will come in very useful so I'm sure it would to others too! Delicately made, I think the apron above is the most girly out of the range which I love - the pink polka dot print and the shape of the pinny is very retro and feminine . 
Someone special. A *Typography of Love word art frame is the perfect gift for someone special this Christmas. The typography frames can be personalised with words, letters and colours and are priced at £39.99. The typography frame above is the My Family Photo Gloss Frame which I believe would make the perfect gift for mums this Christmas and makes a lovely keepsake for the family home.

If you're wanting to treat yourself to a Claireabella bag or treating someone else this Christmas then order soon as the last day for ordering is this upcoming Monday . Toxic Fox have also given me a discount code which entitles my lovely readers TFBlog 10% off the Christmas section until the end of December.


Lauren
xxx

*The post contains PR samples. All thoughts are my own. For more info, see my disclaimer.