Paris Blogs: Day 2

So today’s blog is another photo heavy post, as I’m sharing more snaps from my Paris trip. These are all from the second day, when we wandered down the Champs-Elysee, went up the Arc de Triumph, and visited the Notre Dame. We also saw my pretty buildings and gardens along the way, and then went out to an amazing burger restaurant for dinner.

I hope you enjoyed this post! Check out the photos from the first day here, and tune in next week for the photos from the final day.

Em x

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Carrot Cake Recipe

I am a huge fan of carrot cake, always have been and always will be. It’s just so lovely and moist and the cream cheese icing is so yummy. After trying many recipes, I’ve now found the perfect one so you can experience its yumminess too.

5) Finished Cake

Ingredients for the Cake:

  • 225g of self raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 150g of light brown muscovado sugar
  • 50g of chopped walnuts
  • 120g of carrots
  • 2 bananas
  • 150ml of sunflower oil

Ingredients for the Topping:

  • 175g of full-fat soft cheese
  • 50g of butter
  • 250g of icing sugar

Method:

1) Peel and the carrots and then grate them into a large mixing bowl.

5) Carrots

2) Mash the bananas in a small bowl and then add to the carrots.

3) Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, then add all the other cake ingredients and mix thoroughly.

4) Grease and line the base of a 20cm (8 inch) round cake tin. Then pour the mixture into the tin and level the surface.

5) Before Baking

5) Bake at 180°C (Fan 160°C) for 50-60 minutes.

6) While the cake is cooking you can prepare the icing. Add the cream cheese and butter to a bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Begin sifting in the icing sugar a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Once it’s completely smooth, leave the icing in the fridge to thicken up slightly until you need it.

5) Making the Icing

7) Once the time is up, use a skewer to check that the cake is cooked. Leave it to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out, peel off the parchment paper, and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

8) When the cake is completely cool, use a large knife to cut right through the centre of the cake to give you two layers.

5) Cutting the Cake

9) Place the bottom half onto a plate or serving mat, then spread a generous layer of icing on top.

10) Carefully lay the second layer of cake on top, and then pour the rest of the icing over the top of the cake. Use a palette knife to gently guide the icing to the edges to get a pretty dripping effect.

11) Lastly, add whatever decorations you like. Walnut halves are the traditional topping, but these orange rice krispie balls add a lovely pop of colour to the cake.

5) Finished Cake

5) Slice of Cake

I hope you enjoyed! Make sure to follow me on bloglovin (link here) so that you don’t miss my next recipe.

Em x

 

Paris Blogs: Day 1

As mentioned in my style haul (link here), I recently went on a trip to Paris and I thought I would share some of my favourite photos here on my blog. When it came to writing this post, I found that I have so many I love, and it was going to be impossible to fit them all into one post, so I’m going to do one for each of the 3 days of our mini break. In case anyone was wondering, me and my boyfriend went on this little holiday to celebrate his 18th.

And that’s all my favourites from the first day. Come back again next week for the photos from the second day.

Em x

Another Shopping Spree

Oops I did it again. Another day, another haul. Admittedly though, this is much more clothing based than my last haul, so hopefully that makes it more justifiable. For reference, I went shopping in Guildford this time, so all these items are definitely available in stores there.

3) Striped Shirt

The first place I headed to was Primark because I hate buying clothes, then going to Primark last and finding the same thing but cheaper. I picked up a new pack of black tights as I’ve laddered all of mine, and this black and white striped shirt which was £10. It’s a lovely soft material, and is structured enough that it’s easy to dress up, but can be worn casually without it looking too much like work wear. It doesn’t look particularly exciting on the hanger, but trust me it’s an amazing piece to style.

3) Grey Top.JPG

The next place I went to was River Island, where I got this grey crop top for £6. It’s a really useful basic piece that goes really well with everything. It was in a 2 for £10 deal, so I was going to pick up a white one as well, but for some reason the white version came up much shorter and it just didn’t look great.

3) Black Shorts.JPG

Next, I went to New Look and bought these black shorts for £14.99. These were quite hard to photograph but if you tilt your screen you should be able to see all the detailing. I thought these would be really good for dressing up with a nice blouse, but the flowy material makes them so so comfortable and I’m very excited to wear these.

3) Skirt

After that I headed to H&M. I don’t normally shop in H&M because I can never find anything I like, even though my friends always manage to find loads of amazing things in there. However, this time I was a lot more successful. The first thing I got was this skirt for £14.99. I have a skater skirt in a similar colour which I wear all the time, but I thought it was about time I updated it to a slightly more grown up version. and I like this one a lot. I bought a size up from my usual size because then it sits lower on my waist, and as I’m very tall, this makes the skirt appear a little bit longer.

3) Bikini

Next I picked up this bikini, with a lovely lacy trim, which was a bargain at only £3.99 for each piece. It’s a basic triangle string style, and I’m slightly scared about lying by the pool in this considering normally I go for much more concealing styles, but I’m hoping that this year I can finally brave it.

3) Trousers

The last item I bought from H&M was these trousers for £12.99, and these are super super comfy. They are cuffed at the ankles with makes them look more stylish and the print is quite simple meaning they are easier to pair with a greater variety of tops. They go really nicely with the grey crop top featured above.

3) Taupe Blusher.JPG

The final item I picked up was the NYX Taupe Blusher. This was £5.50, and I bought it with the points I earned during my big boots haul last week (link here). I’m excited to try this out as it’s meant to be a really nice cool toned contour shade.

And that’s everything! It is somewhat justifiable by the fact that I bought a lot of these clothes for my recent trip to Paris, which is what a lot of my next few posts will be about.

Until next time,

Em x

Cinnamon Soft Pretzel Recipe

Pretzels are always a snack I’ve enjoyed when I’m out and about, with Auntie Anne’s Pretzels and Mr Pretzels being the obvious favourites. However, I decided it was about time I attempted to make my own and I have to say that I am very impressed with the results. I actually came across this recipe on instagram but it worked perfectly so I thought I would share it with you today.

2) Displayed

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of strong white bread flour  (120g)
  • 3 cups of plain flour (360g)
  • 1 and 1/4 tablespoons of fast action dry yeast
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of water (350ml)
  • 2 tablespoons of baking powder

Method:

1) Add the sugar and salt to a large bowl and stir together. Then add the flour and make a well in the middle.

2) Pour the water into the well and sprinkle the yeast over the top.

3) Knead to a soft dough for about 10 minutes, adding small amounts of water or flour if required.

4) Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rise for half an hour. You need a bit of warmth but not too much so I usually clear a space in the airing cupboard and leave it there.

5) Meanwhile, half fill a shallow bowl with water, add the baking powder and stir together.

6) After the dough has risen, pull off small handfuls of dough, knead to a smooth ball and then roll into a long sausage. Fold one end in, and then the other to make the traditional pretzel shape. This required a longer sausage than I expected so there’s a picture below for reference.

2) Dough Length.JPG

7) Line two trays with greaseproof paper. Dip the pretzels in the water and baking powder mixture and then lay them out on the trays. I made 7 pretzels but you can make them bigger or smaller depending on how doughy you want them.

2) Baking Trays.JPG

8) Leave them to rise for another half an hour while your oven heats up to 230 degrees (210 degrees for a fan oven).

2) Ready for Baking.JPG

2) Three on a Tray.JPG

9) After they have risen, pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes.

10) My favourite topping is cinnamon sugar so I poured some sugar out onto a plate and mixed in some cinnamon. Add as little or as much as you like depending on how strong you like the cinnamon flavour.

11) Peel the pretzels off the paper, sprinkle with plenty of your cinnamon sugar and you’re done!

2) Close Up.JPG

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and your freshly baked pretzels.

Em x

 

A Big Boots Haul

1) Everything

I would say this was an accident, but that would be a lie. This was a completely planned splurge and I couldn’t be happier with what I purchased. What’s even better is that I got all this for under £50! Boots is my favourite place to shop for beauty items as their points system and amazing offers mean that you get great value for money.

1) NYX

I headed to Brighton for this haul as they have recently got a NYX counter so I’ll share the products I bought from there first. The products I headed straight for were the Soft Matte Lip Creams as I have heard so many amazing things about them. I picked up the shades 06 Istanbul which is a lovely pinky nude, and 05 Antwerp which is a much brighter pink colour but is still suitable for every day wear. These were £5.50 each, but I would definitely recommend swatching before buying as the colour of the packaging is not a good representation of the colour of the product inside. The next thing I bought from NYX was the Proof It! Waterproof Eyeshadow Primer. This was £5.50 and so far I am very impressed so a full review will be coming soon.

1) Seventeen.jpg

The next counter I visited was Seventeen as I needed some new base products and have heard some very good things about them recently. I got these products on a 3 for 2 deal as well so that was even better. I got the Phwoarr Paint Concealer in the shade Fair for under my eyes and any nasty blemishes, and this was £5.49. Then I got the Wow! Skin Concealer as I have wanted to try one of these brightening concealers for a while, and this was a great budget option at £4.99. I have since discovered I bought the wrong shade in this though; I thought there was only one shade so just grabbed it off the shelf but it turns out I bought the darker one, oops! I should be able to use it once I’ve got my summer tan though. The final item I bought from Seventeen was the Stay Time Pressed Powder in Fair which was £4.49 and I’m excited to see if this performs better than my trusty Rimmel Stay Matte.

1) Max Factor

The final makeup items I bought were from Max Factor and this is where I got a real bargain. I bought the Face Finity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 Foundation for £12.99, and picked up my mum a bottle of her Lasting Performance Foundation (not pictured above), and then got a lovely box of products for free. This was worth £33 and included the Eye Luminizer, the Voluptuous Waterproof False Lash Effect Mascara, and a lip gloss in the shade 75 Glossy Toffee. It also had a voucher inside for £2.50 off my next Max Factor foundation.

1) Skincare

The final set of products I bought are skincare items, and I got these on another 3 for 2 deal. Firstly, I picked up the No7 Hot Cloth Cleanser. This is £9.95 but I had one of those £5 off No7 skincare vouchers so it only came out as £4.95. I then grabbed a Boot Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Peel Off Face Mask. I really like peel off masks so I wanted to give this one a try as it’s only £2.99. Lastly, I picked up a Clean & Clear Deep Cleansing Lotion. I use this every morning so getting it on a deal is always useful. This costs £3.20.

Overall I’m super happy with all my purchases and will keep you updated on my thoughts as I try them out.

Em x