Monday, 1 January 2018

2018 Goals

2017 has genuinely been the best year of my life so far. I've spent time with the most amazing people, and smiled/laughed until my jaw aches too many times to count. I turned 21, figured out I look like PS1 Ron Weasley (seriously I have the photos to prove it), I've seen my favourite bands, I've been to Disneyland Paris and Cape Verde. I also passed my driving test, started an access course and got offers for university. I can't believe so much has happened this year! I am very excited for 2018.

Improve my photography and video skills
If you read my what I got for Christmas post, Rhys very kindly bought me a GoPro, which I am so excited to use. I definitely want to get to know the settings so I can use it to the best of it's ability, and so I'm ready to make a great video montage of our holiday in June. I also want to learn how to use my Canon 600D properly (yes I've had it for years) - so I can improve my blog photography and general photography.

Get Fit
I know this is such a generic new year goal and I've put it before, but this time I actually do mean to get fit. I joined the gym in 2017 and was getting really good with going, but I ended up being ill for the majority of the year so couldn't go a lot of the time. This year I'm hoping that I'm ill a lot less and can go to the gym at least three times a week.

Watch more films and TV series!
I'm so bad at winding down and relaxing, I need to get better at this and this means some binging on TV series and watching films I've never seen. I have a huge list of recommendations from people in my life, so I'll be working my way through that list in 2018 as well as adding new films to the list that are coming out in the future.

Become a student midwife
After years of wanting to go to university to study Midwifery, I finally began my access course in April 2017 and have been offered places from universities to start in September 2018, on the condition that I achieve all merits and distinctions in my assignments. I am unbelievably excited for this time in my life and I can't wait to start getting prepared throughout this year.

Be Happy
I'm not even over exaggerating when I say that 2017 was the best and happiest year of my life. I think being happy is such a simple goal to some, but until late 2016 I couldn't remember the last time I was truly happy. I am aiming to carry on being happy throughout 2018!

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Sunday, 31 December 2017

2017 Films | October - December

2017 has been a good year for films in my opinion, and I've also been to see nearly every single film that I've wanted to see in the cinema, which makes such a change. There wasn't much out between Halloween and Christmas, but I did get to see two films which I was very impressed with and one I wasn't so impressed with...maybe it's because I'm a bit more of a DC girl than a Marvel girl.

Thor: Ragnarok
I really wasn't too impressed with Thor. To me it was an average film and it didn't keep my interest (I may have fallen asleep because I was ill, but it also could've been the film). There was a lot of forced humour in it and I'm usually a huge fan of Marvel films, but this one just didn't cut it for me.

Justice League
I loved Justice League, it really captured my attention and since I loved Wonder Woman so much, Diana being in this film really helped to keep me interested too. Ben Affleck being Batman also grew on me in this film, as I wasn't so sure on him playing Batman when I saw Batman v Superman. I would definitely watch this again, it's definitely one of the best films I've seen this year.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Star Wars needs no explanation for why this was an amazing film. Obviously I'm not going to include much information about this at all because I'm afraid of spoiling anything, I but I loved it. I am obsessed with Porgs and teared up a little every time Carrie Fisher graced the screen with her presence. 

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Friday, 29 December 2017

What I Got For Christmas 2017

I've been away from this blog for a long while, I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas and managed to relax with whoever you wished to. I thought I'd come back and do a what I got for Christmas post, including the usual disclaimers. In no way am I boasting, I'm purely writing this because I love reading what I got for Christmas posts and I know there are a few others that do too. I am so grateful for all the gifts I've received and the time I've spent with loved ones over the Christmas period. Unfortunately for blog photos the weather wasn't great on Christmas Day, but I did my best!
Electronics
The present I was most surprised to receive this year was a GoPro Hero 6 from my boyfriend Rhys, he must be listening to me more than I think he does! This was such a thoughtful gift because he knows that I take my DSLR everywhere with me, and he said he thought this would be easier, it would be great for events and also when we go on trips. I am still so shocked that he bought me a GoPro, I'm so grateful and I'm currently loving testing it out.

To go with my GoPro, his parents bought me the floating grip for it, which is perfect for keeping the camera stable, for panning shots and also it will be perfect for our holiday next year.
Shower Bits and Toiletries
I think this is the first year anyone asked me what I wanted and I actually asked for shower gel. I can't get used to being a student and not working full-time, so needs must! My friend Katy bought me four shower gels from The Body Shop, in my favourite scents (which was a lucky guess!). My friend Emily also bought me an Indian Jasmine shower gel from The Body Shop, my friend Danielle bought me a chocolate scented shower gel and I also received another shower gel from The Body Shop from work, so I'll be all set for showers for a long time.

My friend Herrington bought me a few travel minis and a shower puff, these will come in handy when staying over anywhere overnight. Rhys' sister bought me the most amazing Lush gift set, I was so happy to receive this as Snow Fairy is one of my favourite Lush scents. Rhys' grandparents bought me a L'Oreal SerieExpert Shampoo and Conditioner set, which I am so excited to use to get super soft hair. My sister also bought me a Joules gift set which comes in the prettiest tin.

I also got a few gift sets to make sure my lips get through these winter months and stay super soft. Rhys' parents bought me a Vaseline tin with three tins of different Vaseline in, and Rhys' brother and his wife bought me a set of Coca Cola Lip Smackers which will be great to pop in my handbag.
Nightwear & Clothing
I was in serious need of pyjamas for winter because mine were so old and literally falling apart. Luckily I received a few pairs for Christmas this year, which I am so grateful for because they're keeping me so cosy in my cold room! My Mom bought me a Christmassy pair from Debenhams which I am in love with. My Auntie & Uncle bought me a pair from M&S which have a penguin on (which is amazing anyway) but they are so warm and cosy, much like the pair Rhys' sister bought me from Primark, which are keeping me so warm currently.

I'd been wanting a new dressing gown for so long (mines quite old and isn't very soft) and my brother bought me one from FatFace, which is the softest one I've ever felt. My brother's girlfriend bought me some cosy footlets and socks from Primark which are perfect for my constantly freezing feet. Rhys' parents also bought me unicorn socks from New Look which are adorable.
Miscellaneous
All of these presents I had no idea I was getting and I love all of them. My Mom bought me the classic present of a 2018 calendar with pug puppy pictures, which is adorable. My Auntie & Uncle bought me a bag, purse and scarf set which is lovely. My other Auntie & Uncle bought me a Kipling accessory pouch to go with the pyjamas they bought me, which is perfect for when I'm travelling or stopping over somewhere and want somewhere to put my jewellery (or SD cards and camera batteries).

I got a few baking related items because everyone knows how much I love baking. My friend Chloe got me a book called 'Life is Sweet' which is full of old fashioned sweet recipes, I'm really looking forward to trying some out. Rhys' sister bought me the 'Salted Caramel Dreams' book which is obviously full of caramel recipes, I can't wait to try these recipes out because caramel is so tasty. Finally, my Secret Santa at work this year bought me Christmassy oven gloves which are perfect for me.

As I passed my driving test this year, my friend Danielle bought me a Yankee Candle car jar, which I can't wait to put in my car. Rhys also bought me a few stocking fillers alongside my GoPro. First of all he bought me a Chewbacca pop vinyl, but one of the new ones holding Porg so I'm even more thrilled about it. He also bought me a Grumpy mug and socks set, both donning the phrase 'Back off I'm Grumpy' which could either be for my love of Disney or a hint about my personality haha.
Make Up, Fragrance & Skincare
I am a huge fan of skincare and my skincare routine, so was happy to receive a Simple skincare set from my friend Marnie, and a mini of my favourite micellar water from Katy, alongside some cotton pads to use with it.

This year I've ran out of most of my make up and fragrance, so I was happy to receive some under the tree. Emily bought me Indian Jasmine body mist from The Body Shop, which smells so lovely. Chloe bought me a lovely Next fragrance, which I can't wait to use. I received my first Make Up Revolution product in the form of the Flawless Resurrection eyeshadow palette from Danielle, which I've heard so much about and can't wait to use it. Finally my Mom gave me my favourite Chanel mascara, Le Volume de Chanel and my favourite Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer, as well as a new Charlotte Tilbury powder to try. 

A few gifts weren't included in this post because I'd started using them or couldn't get a decent photograph of them in the dark! Thank you to everyone that bought me a gift or wished me a Merry Christmas, I appreciate it so much.
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Monday, 30 October 2017

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

I feel like I haven't done a baking post for ages, so I thought it was time to put one up. I made these cupcakes for a 'Bon Voyage' party a few weeks ago and they were a hit. For some reason salted caramel reminds me of this time of year, so I think these would be a perfect bake for Bonfire Night if you're looking for an excuse to make them! I baked these cupcakes using this recipe from Jane's Patisserie. Also check out my great choice of Toy Story cupcake cases!

You will need:
175g Softened Unsalted Butter
175g Light Brown Sugar
3 Large Free-Range Eggs, beaten
175g Self Raising Flour
2tbsp Whole Milk
12 tsps Carnation Caramel
A pinch of Sea Salt

For the buttercream and decoration:
150g Softened Salted Butter
350g Icing Sugar
100g Carnation Caramel
Extra Carnation Caramel (for drizzling)

1. Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar using an electric mixer until smooth, then add in the beaten eggs and flour, and beat again for about 30 seconds. You might need to loosen the mixture with the whole milk.
3. Spoon the cupcake batter into the cases and bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Leave the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
4. Mix the caramel for the cupcakes with the pinch of salt, and cut a small hole in the cupcakes to fill with caramel.
5. For the buttercream, beat the butter with an electric mixer for a few minutes to loosen it. Gradually add the icing sugar on a slow speed - so it doesn't go all over you - until combined, and then speed up the mixer and beat for 3-4 minutes until fluffy and smooth.
6. Add the caramel into the buttercream and beat for another 5 minutes until whipped.
7. Decorate the cupcakes by piping on the buttercream, and then drizzle them with the extra caramel. Now they're ready to eat!
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