Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Mini Egg Easter Cakes with a Caramel Egg Centre

It has been over a year since I blogged....and I'm kicking myself because so much fun stuff happened and I didn't record a single flippin thing on here. So I am attempting it all over again, easing myself with a nice an easy chocolate squeezy baking recipe. The original recipe (from the hummingbird bakery cookery book) used little cute fluffy chicks on top...which I couldn't find. But you can't eat them anyway so hey who cares! Sweet tooth's unite, these are scrummy. 


100g Plain Flour
20g Cocoa Powder
140g Caster Sugar
1 and a 1/2 teaspoon of Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
2 bags of Caramel Eggs
1 Medium Sized Egg
40g of Unsalted Butter at Room Temperature
120ml of Whole Milk
1/4 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

300g of Shifted Icing Sugar
100g of Unsalted Butter at Room Temperature
Green Food Colouring....not too much and not too little
40ml of Whole Milk

2 Bags of Mini Eggs
(and mini fluffy chickens if you wanna be fancy )

For me laying out all the ingredients I need to use works really well. You don't need to do this, but if your unorganised like myself and become a scatter brain when you need to find different things, just get everything together first.

To begin you need to go back in time and freeze the caramel eggs...
well not really, I made the mistake of coming to do this recipe without reading the recipe first. And then I couldn't because my eggs weren't frozen. SO if you wanna make these....make sure you freeze those eggs overnight, otherwise they will just melt all inside of the cake and it won't be like a caramelly heart in the middle. 

Once the caramel eggs have frozen nicely you can begin with everything else. Preheat your over to 180c or gas mark 4. In a large bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar, butter and salt. Use an electric whisk to mix well on a slow speed until it is all combined. In a separate bowl add the milk, vanilla extract and the egg, whisk together gently and pour half into the flour mixture. Whisk this first half in gently, and then add the remaining milk. Whisk on a slow speed till all the mixture is lovely and smooth!

Clearly for this step it is essential to recruit the assistance of a cat...

Line a cupcake tray with cases, then carefully scoop roughly 2 teaspoons worth of mixture into the case. Try and make them all as even as possible, although I never do. 
Then place a frozen caramel egg into the middle of each cup. I would suggest placing them in a landscape kinda way so you don't need to put heaps more mixture into the cup to cover them all. Which brings me onto the next step, add a little more cake mixture on top of the eggs. Easy peasy! Pop them in the oven to bake for around 20 - 25 minutes. Check on them at the 19 minute mark.

Once they come out of the oven they should look like the above! Leave them to cool for 30 minutes minimum. You don't want the icing melting all over the show.

Making icing stresses me out, I can't stand the feel of the powder and I just destroy the kitchen in the making process. These cupcakes were sadly no exception, but hopefully you will have better luck than me. 

So get all your icing sugar in a big bowl, and then add the butter, I feel that adding it in chopped up pieces may work better. Although saying that I didn't do But if you do do it the chopped up way, it may be less messy overall.
Using an electric whisk blend the butter and icing sugar until fluffy and blended. Then add the milk a little bit at a time. Next comes the green food colouring....the photos alongside this post are slight lies sorry. My cake icing was actually a lot more green in real life! So just go slowly but steadily with the food colouring. TIP! I used the lid of the food colouring to measure how much I put in. I'm thinking I did like 5 in total. 

And now move onto the decoration station. See what I did there?
Slap on the icing, using the back of a spoon works nicely. And top with the sprinkles and 3 x mini eggs. (Less if you have been eating the mini eggs as you have been going along)


Baking Soundtrack
I alwwaayyys bake listening to the radio, and yesterday this song was played - how apt!

Mac Palette

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Red, Nude & Lace

So technically this post isn't really relevant until mid June (Graduation!!) But I'm just too in love with this dress to not share it with the population because it is beautifulllll and may be the most gorgeous thing to ever grace the doors of my wardrobe. It was welcomed into my life last week, but I first spotted it in the windows of the Phase Eight store in Guildford a few weekends ago. 
Despite having been determined to visit Guildford for nothing but holiday planning at Sta Travel I couldn't resist trying it on, and the lovely lady in the store promptly made sure I was in it and in love in under 30 seconds I swear. Now the dress is made up of two layers, and the only issue I had was the nude layer seemed a little baggy around my middle and my bottom, but because I didn't expect to be making any commitments to a graduation dress so early on I couldn't be bothered to try another size on.
Then as fate would have it I visited home last weekend and went shopping with my mum, and I came across the dress again in Debenhams. I tried it on this time in two size...a ten and a twelve. Generally I run at a size twelve but I felt the size ten flattered and fitted me much better. I could have kissed the fitting room attendant when he agreed with me, because I had been having an age old argument with my mum over the sizing. 
After settling that I could have bought the dress there and then, but because I had taken it on and off over 50 times I decided to order it online so I could have a lovely fresh boxed dress to keep safe for graduation day. The shade of red in this dress is divine, as well as the fit and detailing of the lace...but it could have really benefited from a zip. And I really do feel for all those girls out there that are going to leave distinct foundation face prints on the fabric because they don't have a friend or mother to help fish them out of it.
Phase Eight are a brand I have never really taken any notice of beforehand, I think there target customer probably runs a little older than me, but for occasions I think they offer some stunning and high quality pieces.

My heels are also new and strictly out of bounds until graduation, boo! They are the perfect shade of neutral for the dress but NOT my sickeningly pale legs. Hopefully I will have a bit of a bronze glow by then and the blend of paleness won't be so unflattering.  Depending on your heel budget you might think these are a little pricey, but they feel heavenly on the foot and are a wardrobe staple. The shape is classic and I am loving the brushed leather, super soft and pretty! They are also a lovely height, I'm already on the tall side so cripplingly tall heels at a graduation would just be awkward. These heels come in a variety of different colour options so if ya likey like I really recommend the investment! 


Saturday, 22 February 2014

A Little Liz Earle

The past couple months my eyes in the morning have been driving me insane, they are itchy, sticky and just haven't been the ideal canvas for applying make-up. I'm not sure why this is, I haven't been removing my make-up differently, I just think early winter mornings have made the department of gooeyness in my eyeballs extra productive. So after being completely over fishing out crusty bits and making them water even more I thought enough is enough! And got my hands on the Liz Earle soothing eye lotion which sounded the ideal solution to my problemo, after using for several weeks now I have not been disappointed!

I can't quite remember where I first heard about this product, but I already have a soft spot for Liz Earle after being introduced to the infamous hot cloth cleanser! So after sourcing on the website I purchased straight away. Bear in mind that if your going to do this you have to pay p+p, don't be put off by the £3.75 charge for 5 -7 day delivery option...I had a bit of a sour face at this because I was like whoah pricey, but the order arrived after like two days hurrahh. The package was a whole loads better than your standard cosmetic product delivery, you receive not only the product ordered but a whole host of minty green information delights. I get that its only information on the brand, but they do it so beautifully you actually wanna give it all a read. I also received a fairly decent sized sample of the hot cloth cleanser I mentioned a little earlier, I used this a couple years back and as much as I liked it I wasn't convinced it was enough for my oily skin. Still, if you haven't heard of the hot cloth cleanser and are a little intrigued go and have a google, there are gazillions of reviews out there. 

When I first went to use the soothing eye lotion I was a little thrown by the fact that it isn't even a lotion?! For me if your gonna call something a lotion its going to be creamy and thick, but this is the opposite, its more of a watery solution. As I have used this more I've become grateful of that, I don't really fancy sticking anymore gunk in my eyeballs than whats there already. I keep this on my bedside table and its applied to cotton pads and glued to my eyeballs the moment my alarm goes off.  It chills my eyes, removes all that gritty gunk and soothes those dreaded puffy eye bags! I've also developed a weird habit of using it over my lips as well, the combination of witch hazel, aloe vera and cornflower is just super refreshing in the morning I can't help myself ! I loovvee this product and have quite happily given it a spot in my daily beauty routine. 


Friday, 21 February 2014

A Little Late for Valentines

Although Valentines Day is pretty much a distant memory to most I am determined to get this post out there! I actually had a Valentines post going on weeks ago, but couldn't post it because my boys gifts didn't turn up in Afghan for about a year, so I have had to have a bit of a shiffle shaffle with how I do this one but at least it is finally gonna be out there in the blogosphere. 

I wanna begin with saying that I LOVE Valentines Day, it really riles me when I hear all the moaning drivel about consumerism, corporations and romantic gestures being unnecessary if you are all that in love. Personally I think there is nothing cuter than a day existing to officially celebrate love, because we all have it in our lives one way or another and a bit of valentines cheer can easily make a person feel all squishy inside. Which is ideal if you no longer believe in Father Christmas. I worked the evening before Valentines day and sold countless bouquets...although mildly depressing at times it was generally very comforting to see so much romance, and it got me so in the mood for the day itself.

The morning of Valentines was spent giving the house a reet good spruce up. I live with six others and most of the time it is pretty disgusting. Doing this meant I had given myself the perfect environment to bake!! I had known for ages that the black forest meringue pictured above was going to be dish of the day, and surprisingly it turned out pretty decent to say I hadn't had any prior practice and a crappy history with meringue making. Saying that, the photograph doesn't show the carnage that took place an hour later when the topping decided to just spread everywhere. I plan on making these in mini form next. Possibly a more in-depth blog post opportunity there but in case I don't get round to it you can find the recipe here.

I was expecting my valentines to be a pretty much female affair, but I did have a gorgeous bouquet of roses arrive mid way through the day which I was very very happy about. Later on in the evening I had some of my gorgeous friends round for cocktails before we headed out into town. I'm going to try and make last Friday my last night out before final deadlines. Gone are the days where I could be productive on a hangover, I'm not sure I ever had them to begin with. Hope everybody out there had lovely Valentines!


Saturday, 8 February 2014

#nextLFWoutfit Competition

So the weather outside is absolutely terrifying me! During the night the chimney in my bedroom has spat out what looks like the remains of a chocolate muffin, and its just pouring with rain one minute and blowing people over the next. Right now I should be on the way to the gym, but I can't help remaining cosy and safe inside...not like I need any excuse to avoid that place. Thanks to my cosy surroundings I have spent the entire morning browsing blogs, and caught site of the #nextLFWoutfit competition. I can't resist entering, its so simple and pretty fun at the same time. To celebrate LFW being just around the corner, Next want bloggers to come up with their dream outfit for a catwalk show using gorgeous items from  I'm trying to be super strict with the purse strings at the moment with graduation and summer holidays on the horizon, so imagining this outfit will have to suffice for now. The competition winner will receive a two night stay at the Mayfair Hotel plus £200 to spend at If I'm extra lucky I might end up with it in my wardrobe anyways, fingers crossed! See all the outfit inspiration on twitter using #nextLFWoutfit 

1. Linen T-Shirt in Grey Marl  Personally if it was me at LFW I would no doubt be slighty stressed and of course sweaty. Sooo a little bit of loose linen is going to work wonders. I think there is nothing better than a well fitting, good quality t-shirt. Especially when its accessorized in the right way! It becomes a whole lot more glam. 

2. Black High Waist Leather Skirt and the glaming comes in the form of this beauty! With the t-shirt tucked in loosely its just a winning combo. I have lived in leather skirts and thick tights for the majority of the winter, it would be dreamy to have a piece like this in my wardrobe. 

3. Black Weave Shoe Boot I can't get enough of these heels, so on trend and super expensive looking. I own nothing like these, and they are quickly going to have to make there way into my shoe collection whether my bank balance likes it or not. 

4. Bespoke Silver Diamante Necklace So sparkly and pretty, this will sit perfectly with the collar of the t-shirt. 

5. Black Square Sunglasses Its fashion week darling so although its London and no doubt grey and dull outside, these are clearly going to be needed to protect you from the glare of all those camera flashes!  

6. Weave Boxy Clutch Bag I doubt I will be needing to carry much else with an outfit as gorgeous as this, the stunning colour of this bag saves the outfit from being too simple in its colour scheme. The pop of colour is the perfect finish to my #nextLFWoutfit  

Friday, 7 February 2014

The Glossybox Wedding Box Review & Make-Up Look

The Glossybox limited edition wedding box has been out for well over a month now, and I've almost had it for the same amount of time. Just want to point out that I AM NOT GETTING MARRIED, I'm not even close to getting married. But it just looked too beautiful to resist and I desperately wanted to get my hands on I did! This is the second limited edition box I have purchased, the one before this was the Christmas edition which was also rather delightful. This box is priced at £25, but you do get money off if you purchase more...which I think is a lovely idea if you actually are getting married and fancy buying these in bulk for your bridesmaids.  After getting to grips with the products for quite sometime I really do think that the ladies out there put off by the 'wedding' tag shouldn't be! It offers gorgeous products for the everyday and its really great value for the monies too. (Worth a stupendous £99!!!) If you like what you see this box is still currently available to buy online.

Before I even go into how well this product works I want to just praise how gorgeous the design of it is. I think there is nothing worse than paying a pretty penny for a product when the quality and design of its packaging is a little naff. (Ya hearing me Dermalogica.) I love seeing this on my bathroom shelf and can't get enough of using it either. As exfoliants go this one is super soft, and the milky consistency makes it easy to apply. In the photos above I have applied it to damp skin, gently massaged and then rinsed it off in the shower. It gave me the perfect base on which to apply my moisturizer and primer. From here I applied foundation, concealer, powder, bronzer and styled my eyebrows, which you can see in photograph 4!

 This is by far my favourite product from the box. In fact its the best illuminator I have ever come across. Although its fairly pricey I would highly recommend, I will get use out of it for donkeys and I will 100% repurchase once I have used it all up.  The amount of shimmer in the product is just right, you can apply a little or a lot and either way your going to come up trumps with beautiful results. In  the photographs I have dabbed a little on my cheekbones and just under my eyebrows, it gives a glorious shimmer and glides on like a dream. Perfect for a bride!

Holy potatoes I literally can't get over the price of this product. Although the shade and the quality of the lipstick is pretty, mine has fallen apart after a couple uses. Boo. Still, the deep dusky rose colour is super appealing too me, and although its already moisturizing, the lipgloss on the opposite end compliments the lipstick with a subtle shimmer and shine. Just a shame there is so little of the gloss, I will definitely be running out before all of the lipstick has been used up! But this is great for a bride...a lippy and a lipstick in one is easily concealed! 

At first I was so confused by this palette, the eye shadows are all entirely matte....which to me makes no sense as I assumed every bride would be wishing for a little shimmer on her big day! But I have given this palette a fair few goes, and although I initially hated it and was crying get this off my face, I have found you can actually achieve a really great and subtle smokey eye. The palette includes a primer, I tried this once and it barely made any difference, so I have avoided it since! For the make-up look here I have applied the bottom left nude shade to the whole lid all the way up to the eye socket, I then used the taupe bottom far right shade across the central part of my eye lid, and for definition I used a combination of the brown and black shades which is blended from the outer lid to the centre. I also found that the white shadow and the pale grey shadow look lovely when applied to the lower lash line. You can make your look as subtle or as strong as you like, I have kept mine fairly low key just because the lip colour is so deep. 

This product does completely NOT what it says on the tin. It took me forever to get any sort of volume or definition, and once I did create a little the formulation is so wet it ends up all down your face. Not ideal for any type of tears whether through wedding day emotions, chopping onions, or a sweat off at the gym, its just the worst mascara ever and invincible to nothing. I did use it in the photographs above which is why I look as if I have barely no eyelashes, perfect though if you prefer the natural look of lashes! But this just isn't a product for me.