Sunday, 31 May 2015

GIN AND TONIC CUPCAKES

So today I did a spot of baking and combined two of my favourite things. Cute little cupcakes and gin and tonics! I am a big, big fan of a gin and tonic. If you know me you'd know it's my favourite alcoholic beverage at the moment! So yes I made a gin and tonic flavoured cupcake and it is just as tasty as it sounds, if I do say so myself!


I found the recipe after having a browse online and found this one here that I liked. 

The ingredients:
•175g of softened butter 
•175g caster sugar 
•175g self raising flour
•3 eggs 
•4 tbsp of tonic water. I had Morrisons Indian tonic water- fancy eh ;)
• Lime zest (optional) 

Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius. This recipe makes 12 cupcakes so you could get extra prepared and line a cupcake tray with 12 cases. 


Let's get started! 

1) first off I popped the butter and the sugar into the mixer until it reached a smooth, creamed consistency. 

2) I then added one egg at a time until it was fully mixed then proceeded to add the second egg and then the third. 

3) Sift in the flour and fold into the mix. 

4) when that is fully combined I added the four tablespoons of tonic water and half a lime zest and give that one last mix until it's fully blended together. 

5) Easy as that the mixture is ready to be spooned into their cases. 


6)This takes about twenty five to thirty minutes for them to cook. I poked a cocktail stick through them to make sure they were done as no mixture was on the stick. 

7) As soon as they are out of the oven I poked little holes in the cake with the cocktail stick and then using an egg wash brush and using a small amount of gin I brushed it straight onto the cakes.


8) Letting the cakes cool, I got started making the icing. 

Icing ingredients:
•250g softened butter 
• 500g icing sugar (sifted) 
• Juice of one lime 
• 4tbsp gin 

9) this part is really easy as you kind of just throw it all in the mixer until you get to the thickened consistency you like. 


I'd just like to take this moment to say I think on cookery shows they seem to forget to mention how much mess baking leaves!! 


Ta Da!! I piped on the icing and sprinkled some lime zest on too too. 


The icing is just delicious! A big blob on top gives the the cake a sweet yet tangy kick! 


YUM YUM YUM! I would so recommend this (as long as you're of age to drink of course) also if you don't like gin you don't have to add it in and it's still delicious. 

I love the tonic water in this recipe it really makes a difference to the cake making it light, airy and fluffy. 

I really hope you liked this recipe and post. Do let me know if you try it out and what you think of it too! All my love, A. X

Monday, 25 May 2015

The British Tag!

Hello you lovely little cinnamon swirls!. It is a bank holiday Monday over here in the UK today so I am enjoying a very nice day off work. I have had a long lie in bed, caught up with some tv shows I've missed, some blog and vlog catch up and just generally relaxed all day long!

So i've seen this tag floating about and wanted to give it a go as it looked quite fun, interesting and as a British person I want to see how I'd rate on an actual British tag haha!


The picture above I actually took of Bournemouth beach in Dorset, England. Sometimes I find it hard to believe there are places of such beauty in this country let alone near me as well! SO onto the questions!

How many cups of tea do you have a day? And how many sugars? 
I could drink tea all day long! But usually I have about two or three cups a day..Is that a lot? I have one in the morning when I wake up. I'll have another late afternoon at about three or four o'clock and then another cup at about eight o'clock at night. I quite like a sweet tea every now and then but I'll only ever have one or two sugars. I'm also really getting into fruity or herbal teas at the moment too my favourites being lemon and ginger which is really zingy and revitalising or white tea which is a lot more delicate and floral compared to green tea plus it has a lot more antioxidants in it compared to green tea too!

Favourite part of your roast dinner?
I'm not actually a big fan of roast dinners but I really love roast parsnips my Mum makes with honey, they are so sweet and crispy. YUM!

Favourite dunking biscuit? 
I love a good dunk every now and then. Minds out of the gutter, you. I'm talking about biscuits to dunk into tea/coffee. My favourite has to be a dark chocolate digestive. You can only dunk for about two seconds though or the biscuit will melt away and totally ruin your drink and you'll be left with mushy biscuit ick at the bottom of your mug.

Favourite quintessentially British pastime?
I really enjoy going to the pub for a few drinks with my friends. I think that's quite a British thing to do. The pub my friends and I go to, is very well priced, has a beer garden, jukebox and pool table plus two of the cutest pub dogs ever.

Favourite word? 
I really like the words bungalow or battenberg just because they're fun to say. Or Cheeky Nandos lol. Sorry I had to!

Cockney rhyming slang? 
I don't really know a lot of Cockney rhyming slang but I my Dad says some and watches Only Fools and Horses so I know 'Adam and Eve' is slang for believe and 'Apples and Pears' is slang for stairs.

Favourite sweets? 
I HAVE THE WORLDS BIGGEST SWEET TOOTH. So just imagine how hard this question is for me to just pick one! I love sour sweets like fizzy laces or fizzy rainbow belts. Wham bars are so yummy too. Or those big blue gummy dolphins. I love pick 'n' mix sweets like those!

What would your pub be called? 
Oooh such a hard yet interesting question. Whether to go for something boring and common like The Queens Arms because I'm not feeling very imaginative. Or something a bit more elaborate like The Dog in The Pond like in Hollyoaks. BUT after much deliberation I have decided on a perfect name for my Pub or Bar. I would call it The Sandcastle and it would be near the beach and the drinks would be beach themed and it'd be like summer all year round.

No. 1 British Person?
How can I not say The Queen. She is fabulous and so amazing for her age too. I HEART QUEENIE.

Favourite shop or restaurant?
My favourite shop has to be Lush. I always get such great service in there and leave with a few purchases too. It's hard to resist some of their gorgeous bath products. My favourite restaurant at the moment is probably Bills. I adore the mini cinnamon doughnuts they do. The most indulgent treat.

What British song pops into your head?
Probably a mashup of Alright by Supergrass, Parklife by Blur and Wannabe by The Spice Girls.

Marmite, love it or hate it? 
I LOVE IT.

I tag you all to take part in this if you'd like too!

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you liked this post! Love, A. x

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Sometimes I wish I was an octopus.

Ha ha ha no, this post isn't of those cry for help in case you're wondering if I'll be heading onto a chat show sobbing that I'm an octopus trapped inside a woman's body. I was just thinking to myself yesterday morning as I was running very late for work and I had approximately 25 minutes to get out of bed, get dressed, do my hair, do my make up, make my lunch, drive to work and remain calm and collected for a full day. Sounds doable right? Wrong. It was a push, one that made me think how much more efficient I could be if I had the use and benefit of eight  octopus tentacles...or arms i'm not fussy. 

Reading that last sentence back to myself I do realise it does look and sound like the ramblings of a mad woman but just hear me out okay?! Just think, you're in a bit of a rush in one arm (or tentacle) you can brush your hair, in another you can blow dry, apply your make up, read a book, send a tweet paint your finger nails or tentacles I don't judge but the possibilities are endless!! 


This all stems down to the fact my time management skills are so poor, I'm one of those people that either leave everything to the last minute and panic or wish there were twenty five hours in a day. I'm studying for the advanced course at my work which is the equivalent of an A Level and I found it so difficult to find the time to do it, especially after a long day at work the last thing I wanted to do was sit down and do more work for work! So I took the time out one wet weekend and did it all. All one hundred or so pages. It was long and tiring but I feel so much better knowing it's now all done and isn't weighing on my mind. I'm quite an anxious person and was supposed to go on a course day for this in London which made me feel nervous a month in advance! I like going to London don't get me wrong, but it would be quite long and tiring plus I really don't know where I'm going. So with the help of my supervisor I have had my course location changed to somewhere a lot nearer so that's made me feel a lot better! 



I haven't really been feeling myself in the last few months or so. Sometimes I have moments of self doubt as I don't feel life is going in the way I want it too. Little things like not being in my dream job nor even knowing what my dream job is yet, not being the perfect size or losing any weight to feel better and more confident in myself. But then I remember I have a lot more important things to be thankful for. I have an amazing, loving family who would do anything for me. A few best friends that I could count on one hand that can cheer me up no end. I work somewhere with a good wage and get on well with my colleagues. I have a roof over my head, running water and yummy food in my fridge so moments of self depreciation I try to remember how lucky I really am. 


Thank you all so much for reading, and always being there too. It means so much x


  

Thursday, 14 May 2015

My breakfast smoothie bowl.

Ok so I'm going to throw my hands up and admit it. Judge me if you will but.. I am one of those people that takes pictures of their meals. Yup, before I eat,  my phone or camera creeps out and snaps a shot of what I'm eating. It winds my friends and family up no end if we go out for food and I haven't even touched it and they're digging in because I'm finding the right angles. I often document this on my Instagram which you can check out here. 


Yesterday I made myself a very yummy rainbow smoothie bowl for breakfast and I want to share it with you all! 


I found a similar recipe on Pinterest on the search 'pink smoothie bowls'.  I made a small smoothie in my breville active blender. In it I put a handful of raspberries, some Greek yoghurt, a splash of coconut milk to thin it and a teaspoon of Bioglan beetroot powder. This is naturally high in potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. I add this to smoothies and juices because it's a great source of fibre, which my diet can be quite low in and I love it's gorgeous, vibrant red colour. 

I blended this all up until it had formed a smooth consistency. And poured the smoothie into a bowl. To be honest I'm not too sure where this craze of putting smoothies into bowls came from but it looks very pretty! 

I topped the smoothie with: 
A few thinly sliced strawberries
A few raspberries
A few blueberries 
A couple of pineapple pieces
Passionfruit seeds 
Flaked coconut

This tasted so nice and it looked really pretty too, so winner all round! I'm really getting into healthier eating so I hope to do some more posts like this. Hopefully with better information of the ingredients. I wasn't really paying a lot of attention or measuring out amounts. Next time I'll try and be better! 

Thank you so much for reading I really hope you liked this post! 

Lots of love, A. X

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Mini Boots haul

Hello lovelies! I hope you're all well. I went into Boots at the weekend and picked up a few bits I want to share with you all. I feel so lucky that I have this platform and have a blog to share all the things I'm passionate about with you all. I love beauty and all things make up so I really enjoy sharing things like this with you all! 


First off I picked up a few essentials that were on offer like same razors and razor blades. It's not very interesting so I didn't take a photo but when they are on offer they are worth getting as they can sometimes be the best part of £10.

I also picked up two packs of Simple face wipes. They were on offer at 2 for £5. They are so handy to have to freshen up or even if I'm feeling lazy and to quickly take my make up off. 


All the above are things I bought that I haven't actually tried before. I either bought them because I've heard good things or because it looked nice and the packaging was aesthetically pleasing. 


This is the brow kit I got it's a Barry M product and it cost £5.99. First off I was a bit annoyed because I thought it was £3.99 and didn't realise until I got out the store and looked at my receipt. Nonetheless I was excited to try this, eyebrows are very much the in thing at the moment and I have quite thick brows anyway but they could have done with shaping. I'm looking forward to trying this. It comes with an eyebrow wax, which is the lighter brown at the left. The middle is the dark brown colour and the colour to the right is a creamy shade with a yellow tone to it. It is used to apply directly around the eyebrows to really highlight and define the shape. It could also be used as a normal highlighter too! 


This is the Seventeen Define and Contour kit which I am very excited to try! Just from looking at it you can see that the overall look of it and the packaging is very similar to NARS because of the simple, sleek black case and even the clasp is very similar. 


This set comes with a matte brown powder to contour and a cream powder for highlighting. I like that these shades are matte and don't contain any glitter or shimmer. This set also contains handy instructions on how to use these shades to highlight and contour. I'd find that very helpful as I can find contouring quite tricky at times. 


I picked up this Rimmel lipstick in the shade 077 called Asia. 


I'm really getting into using lipsticks at the moment especially these neutral shades like this. 


I've used the Rimmel Wake Me Up foundation many times before in the past so decided to give this one ago. I find the colour match really good. It gives a medium coverage which you can build on and so far I really like this one! I got it in the shade Light Porcelain so it's perfect for when I'm without a tan. I'm pale anyway so it can be quite difficult to find a foundation shade to suit my skin tone. 


I've never tried this and only ever heard excellent things about this from friends, bloggers and youtubers alike. I got this in the shade Ivory and I'm really looking forward to trying it out. I don't sleep well and often have eye bags so I'm hoping that this will help cover it up along with any unwanted blemishes and spots. 

I'm trying to curb my spending at the moment but it's not really working! As always I'll keep you all updated on how that's going. I hope you enjoyed reading this post. All my love, A. X

Monday, 11 May 2015

Lush Karma Bubble Bar review.

To paraphrase S Club 7; "there ain't no party like a Lush Bathtime party" ahem.. Sorry my inner 90s gal came out to play there but I have tried the very popular Karma Bubble bar from Lush. I've always seen this in Lush stores and it's the type of thing I'd pick up. Similar to magpies I am bright colours and shiny objects (making myself out to sound a touch simple minded) but this product looks gorgeous. 



This round bar has beautiful swirls of a vibrant orange colour entwined with a lush coral shade too. The scent of this matches it perfectly too with exotic orange and patchouli fragrances which is so citrusy, tangy and refreshing. Lemongrass oil and lavandin are added too. lemongrass is similar to the orangey notes as it is citrusy and uplifting. The lavandin is part of the lavender family and helps to sooth. 

Over the last couple of months I have used bath melts and bubble bars a lot more than bath bombs, I like the subtlety to them and also they can last a lot longer. With a bubble bar you just break a bit off, crumble it in your hands under the running water and it creates a haven of luscious big bubbles, to die for scents and also leaves the bath water a funky colour too. 


Karma left the bath water this wonderful deep orange colour and considering that this bar is a lot smaller compared to some others I was very impressed.

I really liked using this bubble bar. It left my skin feeling so soft and smelling amazing. I'd definitely repurchase.

Have you ever used this bubble bar before? What's your favourite Lush product too? I LOVE the bath bomb Dragon's Egg. 

Thank you so much for reading, I hope you enjoyed it. All my love, A. X

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The Creative Blogger Award!

HELLO EVERYONE! sorry for shouting it just feels like so long since I've been here I just want to say one big, fat hi to you all. I've been pretty busy recently with things going on at work I feel a bit bad that my little blog has been neglected somewhat but alas I am back and bursting with ideas and abbie-isms to share with you all.

The very lovely Justine from Girl Gone Dreamer has nominated me to take part in the Creative Blogger Award which I am so touched by, thank you so much Justine. If you haven't checked out her blog by now (I totally recommend having a look!) you can click the link on her blog name above. Not only is Justine a lovely lady whom I've got to know over the last few months on Twitter but her blog is fast becoming one of my favourite reads.


So the rules of The Creative Blogger Award are to state five fun facts about yourself and then nominate fifteen other bloggers to take part as well. So here goes!

1) My favourite mealtime of the day would be breakfast. I never used to be that crazy about it but I don't know whether its because my tastes have changed and maybe matured slightly in the last few years but I love all kinds of breakfasts foods from maple bacon pancakes, poached eggs on avocado toast, breakfast smoothies, french toast the list could go on and on.

2) I am obsessed with my dog Charlie. He is the first pet I have ever had and I cannot imagine what we did before this little bundle of fun came into our lives. 

3) I hope to travel a lot as I get older. I'm only twenty years old and as cliche as it may sound the world is my oyster. The thought of spending the rest of my life in this little, sheltered town I come from fills me with thick dread. There isn't one place on earth I wouldn't like to leave my footprint. 

4) I am very family orientated. I get on very well with my Mum, Dad and my sister Bronya and feel very blessed to call them my family. 

5) I couldn't decide what fact to put here so I'll just tell you a few little quirks about myself to finish off. My favourite colour is burgundy, my favourite animal is the Elephant, my favourite type of food is Mexican, I have a natural blonde streak of hair at the back of my head and I have the biggest sweet tooth. 

The lovely bloggers I want to nominate are as followed. 
1) Jessie
3) Katy
4) Hayley
5) Daisy
6) Harley
8) Claire
10) Tania
11) Claire
12) Lauren
13) Dee
14) Rebekka
15) Carla

Each and every one of the bloggers I picked are people I specifically chose as I am a huge, huge fan of all of their blogs. I love reading their different content and to top this off they are all people I have grown to love through the power of Twitter. So please check out their fabulous blogs, it would mean a lot to me! 

Thank you so much for reading this post I hope you enjoyed it. All my love, Abbie x.  

Thursday, 7 May 2015

My favourite nude nail shades.

I've become a big fan of nude colours at the moment. They look very on trend either day or night and look very cool and very classy too. What's not to love! I used to love painting my nails all these bold colours and nail art designs but working where I do it's not really appropriate and because of this I don't really have the time unless I have a few days off. 


ANYWAY so I picked some of my favourite nude and light shades to share with you. They are all high street brands and could all be picked up in your local Boots. 



These are my favourite shades. This glossy, bold sheen was achieved after two- three coats on each. Most of them only required two coats however I find No7 nail polishes are always quite light so need quite a few coats to get desired glossy coat. 

So starting with the top image above, I'll work my way around the wheel in a downward fashion as if going clockwise on a clock. 


The top shade is Rimmel 60 second super shine called Sand and Deliver (love the pun) I like the colour of this

The middle shade is by Collection and it's called Antique Rose. I really like the terracotta type colour to this and it's quite a simple yet different colour too. I really like this one. 

The bottom colour is by Rimmel in their Rita Ora collection. Its called Let's Get Nude. I think this shade will suit most people as it's quite a warm colour with subtle hues within it. It does take a few layers to get to the boldest look. It also looks great with a matte top coat too! 


In this above picture the top colour is the Collection shade that I spoke about above, the middle shade is the Rimmel London in Let's Get Nude. The bottom shade is a Seventeen gel colour in the shade mochatini. I like this colour as it has a darker colour to it compared to the others. The gel effect makes it look really glossy after 1-2 coats too. 

Going from the bottom upwards.

The bottom, nearest to the left, shade is by No7 called Practically Perfect. I'm not a big fan of No7 polishes as they take so long to dry and I find they need a lot of coats too. But I like this colour, it's lighter in colour compared to some others and compliments my skin tone well too. 

The middle shade is by Rimmel 60 second super shine in the shade 500 Caramel Cupcake. This one is very similar to the Seventeen colour in the sense they both are almost nude brown shades. I really like this one however I wouldn't say it dries in 60 seconds maybe two minutes though. 

The top shade nearest the right is a Barry M gelly hi shine shade in the colour Lychee. This is probably the lightest of them all. The coverage is great and requires 1 coat maybe 2 sometimes. The Barry M gelly polishes always impress me and this one certainly did too. It dries quickly too! 

Thanks for reading this post I hope you liked it. What's your favourite nail polish colours at the moment? 

Lots of love, A. X