Pancakes.

Food, Life

pancakes

It’s Pancake day on Tuesday and today I spent the day making a stack of fluffy American pancakes- in order to perfect it for Tuesday. I’ll be totally honest pancakes aren’t my fav, they never have been really. Maybe it’s something to do with the word ‘cake’ being involved, but I do lovvvve making them- something v satisfying about the way they look. As well as listening to ‘Send Me On My Way’ – the Matilda pancake song (if you know, you know) whilst making them. There are endless options to top your pancakes… I went for a Nutella batch, a lemon batch and my personal fav ~berries & yoghurt~.
Happy Pancake Day!
(& let me know what topping you went for.)

 

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How To Have A Productive Morning.

Life

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Having a productive morning usually = the whole day being productive or at least, getting it all out of the way. Since having a job and a blog I like to try to plan my time. I usually spend the weekday evenings in a bubble bath and weekend evenings drinking alcohol. So I ~try~ my best to have productive mornings.


Rise Early.

I know it’s easier said than done, but just try to resist the snooze button. And I know weekends were basically designed for lay-ins but I do secretly love it when I wake up at 8am on a Saturday and can’t get back to sleep. Sometimes I lay in bed and watch a film or I will get up and ready. It means the day is way longer (and you can fit a nap in later.)

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Breakfast.
If you want to be productive you need to eat- not only to be energised and all that rubbish but, because if you don’t eat you will probably spend the rest of the morning having to stop because your stomach rumbles are too distracting.

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Diary.

I could no longer live without my diary, probably because I have a v forgetful memory so I neeeeeeed to write everything down. But there’s something that makes everything feel a little more organised if it’s actually on paper. I use my diary as abit of a daily to-do list and ticking the stuff off is oddly satisfying.

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Journal.
My journal is literally my most precious possession. It’s kind of like my head on paper, where all of my crazy thoughts go. It helps sooo much with my productivity. Not only am I the biggest day dreamer but my head is also rammed with thoughts, so whenever I’m having a moment were I’m drifting or getting too stressed I open my journal and write anything that comes to mind. For me my journal is like my outlet so if you’re not the writing type pick something that fits for you e.g. drawing, dancing, running. I use the Pause journal from kikki.K that has pages and pages of thought provoking quotes and ideas. + Journals are the best to look back on!

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Music.
This may not be for everyone as sometimes music has the opposite affect on some people. For me music zones me out, so if I want to get really stuck into something listening to music helps. However, if your the type that needs silence that’s totally fine- go with what works for you.

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Environment/Atmosphere.
Make sure you’re working from somewhere that makes you ~want~ to get stuff done.
This also really depends on the type of person you are and what sense is your strongest/ the one you identify most with… So if you’re a visual person it’s unlikely that working from a dull room will increase your productivity. & the atmosphere plays a big part… natural light vs artificial light, smells, sounds, people etc.

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Valentines Cookies.

Food, Life, Valentines

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You will need:

• 1 ½ cup butter
• heart cookie cutter
• 1 cup sugar
• 3 ½ cups flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup strawberry jam
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 bar white chocolate
• red/pink food colouring
• pink sprinkles

 

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Instructions:

• Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Then add the vanilla extract, flour, salt and mix.
• Shape your dough into a ball and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. Once chilled, roll out the dough- to the thickness of a £1 coin.
• Cut out your heart shapes using the cutter.
• Place the hearts onto baking paper and bake at 200 degree heat for 6-8 minutes.
• Once cooled. Turn half of  your cookies upside down and spread some jam (I used a piping bag as it’s quicker and less messy.)
• Place the other cookies on top of the jam cookies and gently press together.
• Melt the white chocolate and add a tiny tiny bit of food colouring.
• Pour the melted chocolate into a piping bag (I used a tiny nozzle- if you’re just using a bag, cut the tip very small.)
• Drizzle the chocolate over one side of the cookies and immediately top with coloured sprinkles.

 

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Skincare.

Beauty

I will admit I’m super lazy when it comes to my facial skincare. So… along with trying to take more care of myself this year, that I touched upon in my >>2017<< post. I decided to add skincare to the list. I’ve had a much stricter skincare routine for a few weeks now (which my skin is ~loving~) so I thought I’d share my current fav products.


Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water.

I had heard so much about this I had to try it. I’m not a fan of waters and toners as I have no faith that they actually do anything. But, when I tried this I loved it. I personally, couldn’t use it to remove all of my make-up but it works perfectly after I’ve cleansed and before I apply moisturiser.

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L’Oreal Paris Pure Clay Detox Mask.

The USP for me is the smell. It smells ~insane~. It’s really creamy which makes it feel thick on the skin and like it is actually detoxing. It’s probably one of the few facemasks that leaves my skin with a noticeable change . However… I’m not sure how it would be for sensitive skin as it’s so highly perfumed- I can imagine it would irritate/sting.

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Yes To Tomatoes Pore Scrub.
I was drawn to this product as it’s so natural with minimum chemicals, which did make me question whether something so natural would work when my skin is being stubborn. But it really works. It’s pretty coarse which really cleans and exfoliates the skin. I use this around every other day to give my skin a deep cleanse. It’s also quite drying, which dries out any breakouts. I have normal-oily skin so it works really well but if you’ve got dry skin, I think it may be too much.

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Formula 10.0.6. Moisturiser.

If you have normal to oily skin you will love this. I’ve never been able to use moisturiser before applying make-up, as after a few hours I start shining. However, this works sooo well. The consistency is kinda like a gel rather than a cream, which dries so fast but leaves my skin smooth and soft. I use this both morning and at night.

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Yes To Grapefruit Brightening Facial Wipes.

These are by far my favourite out of all of my skincare products. They are ~amazing~. The quality is so impressive- they are huge and so thick! Plus, they smell good and are v natural. I like to use them when I’m feeling super sleepy and need waking up in the morning, or after a facemask. I don’t want to get into the habit of using these too often, as they make my skin feel so refreshed and I wouldn’t want my skin to get used to them and not have the same effect.

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What are your favourite skincare products?

 

2017.

Life

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Happy New Year! How has another year passed already? I hope you had an amazing Christmas and New Years Eve. It’s been way too long since my last post, I had the flu for a week- I’m not making excuses, I wont lie I didn’t really know what I wanted to write. I have so many ideas for this year but I didn’t want to just go straight in without a happy new year post. But then I also, didn’t want to ramble on about new years resolutions or any of the clichés so I spent a few weeks procrastinating.

Anyway…. I thought oh why not.

I think it’s good to have ~goals~. I’m not the type of person who has 1/5/10+ year plans, who sticks to it religiously- I am waaaay to indecisive for that shit. I was saying to my Mum the other day I kinda feel like I’m just blagging life, half the time I don’t know what’s going on or where I’m going (literally, I regularly get lost when I’m just trying to drive home from somewhere.) But I said I kind of like it, there’s something nice about not knowing where I will be 10 years. I have no clue what job I could be doing, I could be married, single, happy, sad…It’s so so daunting but so so exciting. (Oh so deep.) All that being said, I do have a few things floating around in my head that I am aiming for, realistic things.

-Healthy. This isn’t a cliché one of go on a major diet, loose weight, blah… It’s just to look after my body a little more. So, eat more fruit and veg, drink more water, get more fresh air, moisturise more, get better nights sleep etc.

-Save. Save money because you know… life.

-Take risks. Not quite sure what I mean by this- risks as in, something crazy like jumping out of a plane. Or risks as in just saying yes more, to anything and everything because the feeling after is so worth it.

-Music. Listen to music more because everyone should.

-Stop overthinking. This is the story of my life. Everyone overthinks but my mind just exhausts me sometimes. I always feel like I never switch off, or know how to switch off. I take hours getting to sleep as I’m laying thinking about the most pointless things, like how I need to get petrol in a weeks time or even how soft my bed sheets are. (Lol, I’m crazy.)

-Appreciate everything good, there is always something to smile about.

-Travel. (This probably contradicts the saving.) But I want to try and visit at least a few places this year, as much as I want to see the whoooole world.

-Read & write more. Both always make me feel relaxed and more open-minded if that makes sense. And both kinda go hand in hand… so if I read for a while it leaves me wanting to write and if I write for a while it leaves me wanting to read.

-Be kind, always, then even kinder.

So there’s my extremely deep post for the year. What are your short/long term goals? I hope you are as excited for this year as I am.

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DIY Christmas Gifts.

Blogmas, Christmas, Food, Home, Life

Gifts mean sooo much more if there are personal thoughts and touches that go into them. I felt like I’d gone really practical with my gifts this year, which left me thinking if I could make some of the presents a little more thoughtful. I can’t believe it’s Christmas Eve!!! Here are two very last minute DIY ideas to save you…


Cookie Mixture in a Jar.

So this one from the title sounds a little weird but trust me I think it’s wonderful. You may have seen these in the shops- they are so easy and simple to make and very cheap.

First, you need a glass jar. The size is up to you. I went for mason jar. 

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Now all you need to do is to measure out your dry cookie ingredients and layer them into the jar.

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Measurements:

(Around 4-8 cookies depending on how big you make them.)
80g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
80g soft brown sugar
30g coco powder
50g milk chocolate chips
50g white chocolate chips

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Next, decorate your jar. I then attached a gift tag and wrote the instructions- ‘Just add: 80g butter, 1 egg, and bake at 170 degrees for 6-9 minutes. They also last pretty long as it’s only the dry ingredients.

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Star Buscuits.
These are really cute edible gifts. 

First of all,  preheat your oven to 190 degrees. Next mix together 110g butter 100g soft brown sugar. Add 1/2 cup of golden syrup and mix then add 340g plain flour. Now add, 1 tsp. bicarbonate soda. Then use your hands to form a dough and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

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Now roll out the dough so it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out your shapes- I used a star cutter of 3 different sizes. Place them on grease proof paper and bake them for 8-10 minutes, until their golden brown. Once they have cooled you can ice them.

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Once the icing had dried. I stacked them, wrapped them in cellophane and tied them with a ribbon.

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Merry Christmas!
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Festive Candles.

Beauty, Blogmas, Christmas, Favourites, Home, Interiors, Life

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I am without a doubt a scented candle addict, I have been burning festive candles since November but now the season is finally upon us it’s an acceptable time to share them with you!  A house isn’t a home without a few candles scattered throughout!

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I picked up 2 of the following:

Cinnamon Stick
Warm aromas of cinnamon blended with the base note scent of cloves.

Mandarin Cranberry
A fresh, tangy burst of cranberries with notes of super-sweet oranges.

Tarte Tatin
A lovely combination of apples, spices and vanilla, straight from the oven.

Spiced Orange
Zesty yet warming, citrus oranges with trails of cinnamon.

Cappuccino Truffle
Deliciously decadent, a bold pairing of fresh roasted coffee and velvety chocolate.

Pain Au Raisin
Cognac soaked raisins baked in buttery vanilla dough and sprinkled with cinnamon.

Salted Caramel
A combination of pure indulgence; burnt sugar and cracked sea salt are married with smooth vanilla caramel.

Fireside Treats
Sweet and smoky, the aroma of toasted marshmallows over an open fire.
These have to be my most favourite, so much so I burned the both in November!

Gingerbread Maple
The traditional combination of sugar and spice with maple syrup and vanilla icing on a delicious gingerbread cake.

Vanilla Bourbon
Topping a hot drink with a layer of thick vanilla cream and a generous splash of bourbon creates a wonderful winter warmer.

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Edible Christmas Trees.

Blogmas, Christmas, Food, Home, Life

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What you will need:
2/3 Sheets of paper
Sticky tape
200g white chocolate melted
Green food colouring
200g rice krispies
Icing sugar

These were SO easy and fun to make! They actually look so realistic and would be perfect for a desert table decoration (which guests can also eat!)

Method:
-Fold and tape your paper into cone shapes.
-In a bowel add your melted white chocolate, green food colouring (until the mixture is very green) and rice krispies.
-Mix until the rice krispies are covered.
-Spoon the mixture into the cone shapes.
-Refrigerate for 1 hour.
-Once refrigerated, carefully peel off the paper and stand them up.
-Next, decorate how you like. I dusted icing sugar to look like snow!

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3 Nights in Budapest.

Autumn, Life, Travel

 Budapest; with it’s grand Fairytale-like buildings, rich history and a unique culture, there is so much to offer. It’s a glowing picturesque city that is beautiful, yet rough round the edges.

Day 1: As our train pulled away from Prague, I was excited to arrive in Budapest. Although, I didn’t really know what to expect. Most cities have their clichés, that most tourists go looking for. However, I hadn’t heard much about Budapest. I certainly hadn’t heard how beautiful it is. After 6 hours on the train passing through Bratislava,  we finally arrived in Budapest!

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Day 2: In the morning we were refreshed and ready to explore. The bus station conveniently was on the road next to our hotel so we started off doing a near enough full circle on the bus, passing all of the main landmarks in Budapest. We then got off at Gellért Hill. This is on the Buda side and over looks the Danube river, the view from here is magnificent.

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We hopped back on the bus and got off at the Danube river bank on the Pest side, which is were we caught the river cruise. We were super excited for this, as we had seen how well lit up the city was at night.

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After the river cruise, we went for dinner in the Pest district. Which is full of lovely restaurants, bars, cafés, shops and hotels. I really loved the vibe there, it was relaxed and sophisticated.

Day 3: We started off exploring City Park as it was minutes from our hotel, there is history and beauty around every corner. The Vajdahunyad Castle and gardens were full of detail. 

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We then walked around to the Széchenyi Thermal Baths. 

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Next, we walked to Heroes Square- the spring for the baths is actually located underneath the square! The numerous statues scattered around the square reiterates just how much history the city has. 

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We also wanted to pay a passing visit to the Jewish Quarter (Budapest has such a strong Jewish heritage) to see the Synagogue. The detail and architecture is remarkable and impossible to capture on camera.

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We walked across the Chain Bridge (from Pest to Buda) to take a ride up to Buda Caste.
Everywhere I looked there was something more breath-taking; buildings and rich history. We also, watched the changing of the guards which was really great.

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After I’d taken millions of more photos we went back over the bridge for dinner and drinks. 

Later on we took a late night walk to see the parliament one last time as seeing it on the river cruise wasn’t enough.

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We walked from Pest across the Chain Bridge to Buda. Then we walked right the way down, so we were dead opposite it from over the river.

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The building is indescribable. My camera definitely couldn’t capture how amazing it really is. The detail is just astounding. At night the glowing lights brings it to life.

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We then walked back to Pest, by walking over the Margret bridge and had our last stroll along the Danube river. As you can see the city is just magical by night; it sparkles.

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It truly was a wonderful trip and writing this post has only heightened my desire to visit the charming city again.