Thursday, 31 August 2017

Nutella Brownies

It was my boyfriend's birthday on Tuesday and I wanted to make him some brownies, as I know he loves them. I found these Nutella Brownies on Jane's Patisserie and thought they'd be the perfect treat. They were so quick and easy to make, I'd definitely recommend them for a birthday as long as the birthday boy/girl can eat nuts!

You will need:
A 400g jar of Nutella
3 Large eggs
75g Plain Flour
8-16 Ferrero Rocher

1. Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4 and line an 8x8 tin with baking paper.
2. Put the Nutella, eggs and flour into a large bowl and mix together with a spatula until completely combined.
3. Pour the brownie mix into the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes. You can check whether they're done by inserting a skewer, which will come out slightly gooey but shouldn't be covered in mix.
4. When you remove the brownies from the oven, insert a Ferrero Rocher into each square you'll be cutting it into (8 for bigger brownies, 16 for smaller ones). Leave to cool fully in the tin and then cut up and eat!
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Sunday, 27 August 2017

How I achieve a deep natural looking tan

I haven't written a tanning routine since last June and the products I use have changed slightly since then, new products have come out and my tastes have also changed. If I would've been told last year or even six months ago that I'd be using ultra dark tan, I would've probably laughed at the thought. When you're incredibly pale like I am, fake tan seems like a minefield. This is what I do to achieve a natural looking tan that keeps me confident throughout summer.

Unless I've got a specific event on, I like to do my tan prep on a Wednesday night and tan on Thursday night. This creates a bit more of a routine for me as most of the time I can't be bothered to tan, but I know I'll regret it if I don't! To prepare for tanning, first I exfoliate in the shower using exfoliating gloves and then I shave. The next day before I tan, I shower to make sure my skin is clean and smooth. I then moisturise my knees, elbows and ankles with my favourite Palmers Cocoa Butter Formula Concentrated Cream. After waiting a few minutes, I'll apply Bondi Sands Ultra Dark tan starting from the bottom of my body to the top, using a Bondi Sands mitt and a Boots face mitt.

In the morning, I shower the guide colour off and go about my day. Every day after my shower when I'm completely dry, I'll apply the Bondi Sands Everyday Gradual Tanning Milk to keep my skin moisturised and to top my tan up. When it's been nearly a week since I first applied the tan, I'll put on Bondi Sands Self-Tan Eraser ten minutes before I get in the shower. In the shower, I'll exfoliate my body and shave, then I'll be smooth enough to tan again.

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Thursday, 24 August 2017

What I wore to a summer Christening

Last Sunday, I went to my boyfriend's nephew Harry's Christening. As usual I wanted an excuse to buy a new outfit and I had a voucher for New Look, so I decided that would be where I got it from. I saw this dress in the window and thought it would be perfect with some tan accessories. I decided to style this with a tan bag that I also bought from New Look and some tan sandals that I already owned. I think this outfit would also be perfect for wearing on holiday or on a nice (rare) British summer's day!

An accessory I always carry with me is my phone, which was dressed up for the occasion too. GoCustomized is a website where you can create your own phone case, and they kindly gave me the chance to design my own. I chose a photo of me and my boyfriend from his brother's wedding, which I thought would look lovely on the iPhone 7 silicone case that I picked. The case feels really hard-wearing and durable, the quality of the photo on it is also amazing and I was very happy that they personalised silicone cases too. You could even match your phone to your outfit! 

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Sunday, 20 August 2017

Christening cupcakes & other bakes

The day this post is going up is the day of my boyfriend's nephew Harry's Christening, which I've done a bit of baking for and I wanted to show off what I'd baked for it. Four out of the five recipes I used are from Jane's Patisserie, her recipes are some of my favourites to use because they work so well. The other recipe is from Cupcake Jemma, whose recipes I am also a huge fan of.

Firstly, I made cupcakes using Cupcake Jemma's Vanilla cupcake recipe and Jane's Patisserie's Chocolate cupcake recipe, which I spent a lot of time and effort on. I decorated them with alternating blue and white buttercream icing, blue and white sugar craft stars and I decorated five of them with 'HARRY' on larger stars backing the letters. I baked them in blue baking cups from Iced Gems, which were so much easier than using cupcake cases and they can also expand so you have a 'plate' to eat the cake on.

I also made brownies which are a classic that everyone seems to love. There's not much better than a gooey, chocolatey brownie and I hope these are a hit with the guests! Secondly, I made M&M cookie bars, as my Double Decker cookie bars went down so well before. I thought brownies and cookie bars would be the perfect tray-bakes to make for the Christening.

I decided that these Mars Bar Crispy Squares would also be great to make, they're quick, easy and don't require any baking. I made them for a charity bake stall last week and they were a hit, who doesn't love chewy crispy cakes!
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Thursday, 17 August 2017

LUSH Blooming Beautiful Gift Set

This post has been a long time coming since I received this set in January for my birthday, and I was so excited and grateful for it. I had ran out of LUSH bath bombs and bubble bars just before Christmas - even after my spree at the Creative Showcase - so I was in need of some! I'd never used either of the products in this gift set and was intrigued to see what they were like. Since I received this set, the 'Blooming Beautiful' set contents have changed. You can find the new one including Rose Jam Bubbleroon, Sakura and Sex Bomb here.

Honey Bee Bath Bomb
This Honey Bee bath bomb is certainly honey scented (obviously) but I feel like it also has hints of citrus. It was definitely the perfect bath bomb for a pre-bedtime bath, it felt so calming and softened my skin so much. I was disappointed with the lack of fizz as I'm used to bath bombs making my bath beautiful, but I can get past that with how soft it made my skin and how good it smelt. Unfortunately this has been discontinued so I won't be able to repurchase this!

Rose Jam Bubbleroon
I have wanted to try this bubbleroon for the longest time, if you know the Rose Jam scent you'll know why. Rose Jam is one of my favourite scents, it smells delicious and partly looks delicious too, especially since it turns the bath a gorgeous shade of pink. It made my skin incredibly soft - this was probably down to the fact it contains cocoa butter and shea butter. I haven't actually used that many bubble bars from LUSH and I'm still so impressed by the amount of bubbles they create!
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Thursday, 10 August 2017

My First Tattoo | Kingdom Hearts X Disney

I meant to put this post up back in March, but I've only just got around to sorting out photos for it. Since before I was 18, I wanted this tattoo and finally when I got to the age of 20, I bit the bullet and got it started. I went to Sarah at Mother of All Sins in Sutton Coldfield, who I would 100% recommend especially if you're wanting a colourful tattoo or Disney tattoo! You can check out her work here

My tattoo is based on the Kingdom Hearts Princesses of Heart, even though Ariel is not actually one of them. I found the design for the inner circle a long time ago and my tattoo artist adapted it and designed the frame - which I think is incredible. Ariel is my favourite Disney Princess and always will be, which is why I decided to get the tattoo in the first place. I also love Kingdom Hearts and think the Princesses of Heart mosaics are beautiful! I think a lot of people judge Disney tattoos but they're one of my favourite types, a lot of people have said my tattoo is very 'me'.

22nd April 2016
My tattoo was started on the 22nd April 2016, the photo above is everything I got done on it that day. Everyone has an expectation of pain from speaking to people with tattoos before getting their first one done, but everyone's pain threshold is different so it's impossible to describe. I was quite naive because when the outline was being done, I thought 'This doesn't hurt at all'. How wrong was I! When she started colouring in and shading I was in so much pain and after a good 5-6 hours, had to stop and come back to get it finished.

17th February 2017
I finally got my tattoo finished on the 17th February 2017 and I absolutely love it. This time it was all shading and colouring so it hurt a lot but it was bearable, I also didn't have to sit as long as I did before. I was so happy to finally have Ariel coloured in and the border shaded! I've been planning another tattoo since I first got this one started, which I'd like to get within the next year but I need to decide on placement.
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Thursday, 3 August 2017

No-Bake Oreo Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake for a friend's baby shower at her request, using Jane's Patisserie's recipe which you can find here. It's the only cheesecake I've made that I'm sad I can't eat, just because Oreos are one of my favourite biscuits and they're dairy free too! The cheesecake was gone within a night so it was obvious to me that it was delicious.

You will need:
2 154g packs of Oreos
125g Melted Butter
550g Philadelphia
175g Icing Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
300ml Double Cream
8-10 Oreos, finely crushed
Spare Oreos to decorate

1. Crush the Oreos for your base, either in a food processor or with a good old fashioned rolling pin and food bag. Mix them into the melted butter and press the mixture into the bottom of an 8inch deep springform tin and put in the fridge while you make the filling.
2. Cream together the Philadelphia, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add the double cream and whisk together until it holds itself in stiff peaks, don't over whisk it!
3. Fold the crushed Oreos into the mixture and spread over the biscuit base.
4. Leave to set overnight in the fridge, then add your Oreos for decoration. The cheesecake will last for up to three days covered in the fridge! 
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