Summer Baking: White Chocolate and Raspberry Traybake

I often find that baking is more of an autumn/winter activity. There’s something so cosy about making warm gooey cookies, whilst all tucked up in an over-sized jumper, when it’s super chilly outside. However, recipes like this one make me want to carry on baking all year round. It’s a super quick and simple bake that anyone could follow, and the result is an amazing summery sponge, that everyone will love!

Ingredients:

  • 200g of self raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 50g of ground almonds
  • 100g of white chocolate
  • 200g of frozen raspberries (try to pick smaller ones if possible)

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan), and grease and line the base of a 28cm x 18cm rectangular brownie tin.

2) Chop up the chocolate into chunks. You don’t want them to be too small, otherwise they will melt down and disappear.

9) Chocolate Chunks

3) Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

4) Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5) Sift in the flour and salt, and mix until well combined.

6) Stir in the milk, then sift in the ground almonds. Add the raspberries (some of which I like to crumble if they’re too big), and white chocolate chunks. Fold all this in, being careful not to overwork the mixture.

9) Mixing Bowl

7) Spoon this into the tin, and roughly level the surface. The mixture will be fairly stiff.

8) Bake for 50 minutes until golden, and then cool on a wire rack.

9) It should be okay to cut up after about half an hour, and is lovely served warm, but just as good when it’s completely cool.

9) All Stacked Up

9) Individual Slice

9) Displayed.JPG

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! It’s perfect for eating in the garden if you have friends round for afternoon tea!

Let me know in the comments if you have any recipes that you think I should try out.

Em x

Advertisements

Book Review: The Legend Series

8) Books

I’m a huge fan of reading, and have been ever since I was a child. Over the summer months, I find I have a lot more time to spend relaxing, and reading is one of my favourite ways to do so. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been making my way through the Legend Trilogy, and I fell so in love with these books that I just had to share them on my blog. They may even be my new favourite series ever!

8) Close Up

I’m a massive fan of dystopian novels (a frightening or unsettling future community – think Hunger Games). Generally, I’ve found that although I really enjoy them, the story lines are always very similar, and it can get very repetitive. With these books, this is not the case; they have the fast moving, gripping adventure that favourites such as Divergent and The Hunger Games have, but a much more unique storyline.

I obviously don’t want to give too much away, but the side stories within these books are so touching. There’s a love story (of course!), issues of illness, and also some friendship/relationship difficulties.

I’m not one to cry at books or films, I find myself to be a bit on an unemotional brick at times (oops), but the end of the final book had me in floods of tears. I was so impressed with the ending, sometimes they can be a huge let down, but I finished Prodigy with a smile on my face and tears running down my cheeks.

An emotional rollercoaster, that I actually think so many different types of people would enjoy, due to the many genres hidden within the back stories. This would probably be classed as young adult fiction, but I would urge anyone from 14 to 114 to give this series a read. 10/10 would recommend.

Em x

A Naughty Urban Decay Purchase

For a very long time, the Urban Decay setting sprays have been a cult favourite for bloggers. I put off buying one for so long, living in hope that drugstore brands would start bringing out their own versions, which would be just as good, and significantly cheaper. However, many have been released and still not received the best reviews, so when payday arrived, I decided to finally make the splurge.

7) Setting Spray

So far I am impressed, and my makeup has lasted through very sweaty conditions. I wouldn’t say it’s lasted any longer throughout the day, but it has definitely survived some intense gym sessions in very good condition.

I actually bought one of my friends a bottle for their birthday, after only a week of owning mine, so that shows how quickly I fell in love with it. Definitely a new holy grail!

Until next time,

Em x

p.s. don’t forget to follow me on Bloglovin’ (link here), so you don’t miss my next post.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream Review

I think it’s safe to say that NYX has taken the UK by storm since its arrival in Boots stores a few months ago. One of the most popular products has definitely been the Soft Matte Lip Creams, and after using them for a good couple of months, I thought I wold share my opinion with you today.

6) Products

I bought the colours 05 Antwerp and 06 Istanbul. These were £5.50 each, which I think is a good price for a drugstore lip product. The only downside is that Boots aren’t including NYX in any of their 3 for 2 offers while the brand remains so new and popular.

6) Swatches

As you can see, Istanbul is a pretty pink colour, which looks natural on the lips, but still makes them look more pinky and just generally better. Antwerp is a much darker, brighter pink, but is still so wearable on a daily basis if you’re brave enough to wear a brighter colour. Both of these shades are perfect for the summer months. It’s worth taking note however, that the colours of the tubes don’t match the colours of the lip products very well. From Antwerp’s tube, you would think it’s an orangey colour, but there’s no hints of orange in the product.

6) Instanbul

This is Istanbul on the lips, and as you can see, it’s the perfect colour for day wear. For the last month or so, it has been my go to colour when I don’t have time to spend choosing another shade.

6) Antwerp

This is Antwerp, which I think is just so summery. In my opinion, I think it would look particularly good on people with blonde hair, but of course anyone can give it a go!

As for the formula, these smell incredible, and apply beautifully! Since they are a liquid, you will always need a mirror, but the doe foot applicator makes it really hard to go wrong. I found that both of these had the same wear time of 4-5 hours before needing a top up, including having drinks during this time. For brighter colours, this is about average, but for nude colours such as Istanbul, I thought this was really good!

Overall, I think these lipsticks are amazing for a drugstore product, and I can’t wait to pick up more shades.

Em x

Ultimate Choc Chip Muffins Recipe

Chocolate chip muffins are a firm favourite for nearly everyone, and for a long time I have been looking for the perfect coffee shop style muffin recipe. I came across one on allrecipes.co.uk a couple of months ago, and have altered it slightly to produce what I believe are the perfect cupcakes. I added a melting nutella middle to make them super gooey, but you can always leave it out if you’re not a nutella fan.

5) Finished Product

Ingredients:

  • 250g of plain flour
  • 125g of caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 150ml of semi-skimmed milk
  • 3 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 100g of dark or milk chocolate chips
  • Nutella

Method:

1) Preheat your oven to 250°C, and prepare your muffin tin with 9 cases. You can use normal shop bought cases, but for the full coffee shop effect, I cut out 12cm x 12cm squares of greaseproof paper and pushed them into the muffin tin.

5) Cake Cases

2) Place a roasting tray full of water on the bottom of your oven. This will help to keep your muffins really moist.

3) In a large bowl, mix together all your wet ingredients; milk, oil, egg and vanilla extract.

4) Sift in the dry ingredients; flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.

5) Ingredients

5) Add the chocolate chips, and fold everything together. Do not fold the mixture more than 15 times, otherwise your muffins will become too dense.

6) Use a dessert spoon to add one large spoonful  of mixture to each cupcake case. Then add your desired amount of nutella to each one; I used about half a teaspoon. Finally, top off each cupcake with another dessert spoon of cake mixture.

5) Pre Baking

7) Pop your cupcakes in the oven, and turn the temperature down to 170°C (150°C fan). The initial high temperature helps to give your muffins a crisp top. Cook for 25-30 minutes.

8) Leave to cool in the tin for 2 minutes, then move to a cooling rack for 10 minutes, and serve warm for the ultimate gooeyness!

5) Post Baking

5) Starting Picture

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! If you want to eat the cupcakes later, you can always reheat them in the microwave for 20 seconds to make them all yummy and melty again.

Enjoy!

Em x

The 5 Product Face

Today I’m going to be sharing with you the products that I use to create a super simple makeup look. This is what I wear on days where I’m going to the gym, heading to a training session, or popping to the shops, and I’m not feeling confident enough to brave a bare face. It’s a super quick and easy look, and just makes me feel that little bit happier about how my appearance.

4) Products

4) Products Close Up

I start off with concealer; the one featured is the L’oreal True Match concealer, but just use your concealer of choice. I use this to cover up blemishes, dark circles and anything else that needs covering, as I won’t be using a foundation for this look. I apply this quite liberally, so that the excess can just be blended out, perfecting a bit more of my skin.

Next, I set my concealer with powder. Since concealer is the only product that I’m using on my face, I really don’t want it wearing off, so powder is an essential. I also use this to blot down any oily patches.

After this, I fill in my eyebrows. For this I use the shade Tease from my Naked 2 Palette. This works perfectly with my brows as they are quite a pale colour, and I don’t want anything too over the top for a minimal makeup look.

For me, liquid liner is an essential. It open up my eyes and makes me look much more awake, so I apply a small amount of this to my upper lashline. If you’re not a liner kinda girl then feel free to skip this step.

The last product is mascara, which is the finishing touch to any look; I simply can’t go without it. I chose to apply quite a lot to my bottom lashes today, in order to balance out the liner on my top lashline.

And here’s the finished look!

4) Finished Look Smile

The only thing that it’s really lacking is a lip colour, so feel free to add in a slick of tinted lip balm to keep things looking nice and natural.

Technically, since my eyebrow colour comes from a palette, you could do an eyeshadow look and claim that it’s still only 5 products, but I think that’s cheating a little!

If you wear a similar look on low maintenance days then let me know in the comments below.

Em x

 

Paris Blogs: A Fashion Lookbook

So for the last of my Paris blogs I’m going to be talking you through all of my outfits from the trip. I tried to pack super light, so a lot of the outfits feature the same pieces, but by styling them differently, you can get plenty of different looks.

3) Shirt

On the first day I went for a slightly less summery outfit, because when we left England it was rather chilly. I wore a loose fitting, black and white striped shirt from Primark, tucked into some black shorts from New Look. I styled this with a dainty necklace, my rose gold Fossil watch, and some homemade bracelets. I was keen to see how far I walked during the trip so I also wore my red fitband, which I got free by collecting Special K vouchers.

3) Shirt n Background

Throughout the holiday I wore my River Island sunglasses which are my absolute favourite pair. They just seem to go with absolutely everything!

3) White Top

Later in the day it started to get very warm and sunny. I had worn this floaty cropped white cami underneath my shirt, just in case I wanted to wear the it open, but it got so hot that I ended up taking the shirt off completely. This top actually has an open back, so I felt much more comfortable and a lot cooler wearing this outfit in the warmer weather.

3) Red

3) Red n Background

On the second day I went for a more stripped out outfit, as I wanted to be prepared for the heat. I wore this cropped, slightly high necked top which was from Miss Selfridge last year. I paired it with a red button up skirt, and I think the two pieces work really well together. For footwear, I went for white converse. Style wise, I would have preferred to wear sandals, but my converse are just so much comfier for walking round all day, and still worked well with what I wore.

3) Evening

On both evenings I wore the same outfit in order to limit the amount of clothing I had to bring with me. I wore a grey crop top from River Island, and these baggy trousers from H&M. This worked well because it got a lot cooler in the evenings so I wanted to be a bit more covered up. Again, my converse weren’t the ideal choice of footwear. but we wanted to walk around in the evenings so I needed something comfy.

3) Grey Top

3) Grey Top Look Down

On the final day, I wore the same grey crop top, and my black shorts from the first day. I felt so so comfortable in this outfit, and the shorts have really deep pockets which makes them super practical. I wore the same jewellery as I wore on the other days of the holiday. I also carried my trousers around in my bag, and changed into them at the train station, so that I didn’t freeze when I got back to chilly England.

3) Grey Top Rucksack

I wore this rucksack for all three days, as I wanted to have my hands free for taking photos. I bought it on holiday a couple of years ago for €1o and it’s lasted really well. The monochrome print and brown straps means that it’s easy to pair with most outfits.

And that concludes the last of my Paris blogs! I hope you enjoyed this little series. As you’re reading this, I will have actually just got back from a  girls holiday to Disneyland, so I may do another mini series like this one.

Until next time,

Em x

All photos in this post by Richard Waldron

website: http://richardwaldron.weebly.com/

instagram: @rich_waldron