Wednesday, 30 April 2014
Sunday, 27 April 2014
Thursday, 17 April 2014
500g golden caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
100g self-raising flour
100g desiccated coconut
icing sugar, to dust (optional)
1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line the base of a 21cm square tin with baking parchment. Put the cocoa, butter and sugar in your largest saucepan and gently melt, stirring so the mixture doesn’t catch.
2. When the cocoa mixture is melted and combined, cool slightly, then stir in the eggs, little by little, followed by the flour and coconut.
3. Tip into the tin and bake for 45 mins on a middle shelf – check after 30 mins and cover with another piece of baking parchment if the crust is browning too much.
4. Cool in the tin, then carefully lift out and cut into squares.
Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Monday, 14 April 2014
I think a bright colour like yellow will bring a bit of life to this room, at the moment it's overwhelmed by wood! So I've selected this beautiful bedding set...to bring the sunshine in shall we say.
I also felt a different bed frame would break the room up a bit, and make the furniture look a little more, delicate shall we say. And given that the bed we have at the moment is stuffed with pillows because the mattress doesn't quite fit is a sure sign in my mind that at some point, it's going to have to go.
I always think a bed looks much more inviting with a soft chunky throw, and some scatter cushions so throw those in the mix and I think I'd be wanting to sleep in this room instead of our own.
Notice all the emphasis so far is on the bed...what can I say, you can't beat a good night's sleep, and it's nice to offer our guests that too.
The room is also lacking just a little bit of personality, I love these prints which would look great above the headboard. Bringing a little bit of life to those blank walls.
Finally, a rug..with a hint of yellow, and some candle holders to line the top of the chest of drawers just makes the room look complete.
My total look comes to about £650 which would give me a cheeky extra £100 to buy a couple of extra bits and pieces totally bring the room together.
It would be an absolute dream (ha, geddit!) to be actually be able to give this room a little bit of love, at the moment, the door stays shut..and I mainly pretend it doesn't exist.
Sunday, 13 April 2014
These photos don't really do much justice, you're probably all wondering what I'm complaining about, but for now...will someone please hand me my eyeliner?
Friday, 11 April 2014
CAKE1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour, careful not to overmeasure
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
zest + juice of 3 medium lemons
1 and 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh (258g) or non-thawed frozen (275g)
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
I made my own cream cheese frosting just with cream cheese and icing sugar...I just guessed the amounts, and it worked!
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Spray three 9x2 inch cake pans with nonstick spray.
Make the cake. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until creamy - about 1 minute. Add granulated and brown sugars and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until everything is combined, about 2 full minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Set aside.
In a large sized bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed for 5 seconds, then add the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Remove from the mixer and stir lightly until everything is just combined. Toss the blueberries in 1 Tablespoon of flour and fold into the batter. Batter is extremely thick. Do not overmix at any point. Overmixing will lend a tough, dense textured crumb.
Spoon batter evenly into 3 prepared cake pans. Bake for about 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine took 21 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Make the frosting. Using a handheld or stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter together on medium speed until no lumps remain, about 3 full minutes. Add confectioners' sugar, 1 Tablespoon cream, vanilla extract, and salt with the mixer running on low. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more Tablespoon of cream to thin out, if desired.
Assemble and frost. First, using a large serrated knife, trim the tops off the cake layers to create a flat surface. Place 1 layer on your cake stand. Evenly cover the top with cream cheese frosting. Top with 2nd layer, more frosting, then the third layer. Top with frosting and spread around the sides. The recipe doesn't make a ton of frosting, just enough for a light frost. Top with blueberries or lemon garnish if desired. Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting or else the cake may fall apart as you cut.
I've got to admit, this cake felt quite time consuming, particularly when you only have 2 tins...so have to wait for it to cook then bake the third. And, when it comes out the oven it looks much much paler than a usual sponge, but I think that's because of the buttermilk. However, I've got to say, it's well worth the effort...so don't let that put you off.
Oh, and don't like me, tell the boy he can eat the leftover blueberries...I forgot they were supposed to be used to decorate the top, d'oh!
And here's the proud aunty, because I couldn't not show off my nephew now could I?
Thursday, 10 April 2014
Wednesday, 9 April 2014
Monday, 7 April 2014
After a two and a half year long and happy relationship, I recently fell out of love with Estee Lauders Double Wear foundation. I don't know how, and I don't know why. It was the best foundation I'd ever used but in the last few weeks it started to appear more clumpy than it usually had. I always liked the way it rubbed in smoothly and lasted all day, but then I started to feel like I could almost see it sitting on top of my face, and melting away as the day went on.
A week before pay day, I looked to the high street for an alternative, and asking for beauty bloggers advice, was recommended the Revlon ColorStay. Sorry Debs, but me and Revlon just aren't getting along. And now I'm wondering if I should re-connect with my beloved Estee Double Wear and hope I can re-ignite that flame (yes, I am pretending to write a love-story!). Maybe it's because of the numerous skin care products I've started using that DW's been letting me down, but sooner or later I NEED to find a new foundation I'm happy with! Any suggestions very welcome. I like good coverage, long lasting and I'm prepared to invest.
But it's not all doom and gloom. You may have noticed that I'm a Soap & Glory fanatic, and they are my go-to 'eye' products. They groom my brows, line my eyes and lengthen my lashes. Win win.
I've stopped using bronzer for the moment, as I thought I was starting to resemble an oompa loompa, so for now I'm sticking with a sweep of blusher, and this Body Shop one is a beauty, plus the lighter side can be used as a highlighter.
And the final product I have to mention are the Rimmel Kate Moss lipsticks. Seriously, where have I been? I just invested in my first (ok, I bought two) about a month ago, and I LOVE them. Not only are they a lovely light texture, but they're long lasting, and smell/taste lovely too. I now it won't be long before I start building up quite a collection of these.
So that's my face. As you can see, I'm having some ups and downs with products at the moment, but I'm always open to suggestions and recommendations, so feel free to comment below and link me up!