The Perfect Oat and Raisin Cookies

Today’s recipe is one of my all year round go to cookies. Oat and raisin cookies have always been my mum’s favourite, so after many batches and slight tweaks to the recipe, I’ve now perfected it. These cookies have a slight crunch around the outside, and are lovely and chewy in the middle: yum!

Ingredients:

  • 100g of plain flour
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 75g of porridge oats
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 100g of butter
  • 40g of raisins

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan), and grease 2 baking trays.

2) In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, oats and bicarbonate of soda, and then make a well in the centre.

3) In a saucepan, gently heat together the butter and golden syrup until melted.

4) Pour into the flour mixture, and mix well using a wooden spoon. Add the raisins and stir those through as well.

5) Shape the mixture into 12 even shaped balls, then place 6 on each baking sheet, spaced well apart to allow the mixture to spread. Then press them down slightly using a teaspoon.

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6) Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.

7) Leave the cookies to cool on the tray for a few minutes, and then place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

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These cookies are lovely when they’re eaten fresh out the oven and are still warm, but they get even chewier if you leave them to cool completely, so either way they’re super yummy!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and let me know in the comments if you try it out yourself.

Em x

 

 

What I Read on Holiday

First of, sorry for the lack of photos in this post, but as a Kindle lover, it wasn’t like I had a stack of books to photograph. Last week I got back from a week of sun, sea, sand and cocktails, and of course, this gave me a lot of time to indulge in a good book. In this post I’ll be sharing my thoughts on each of the books I read.

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Paperback £6.29 – Amazon)

This is a book that took me a while to get into, in fact I’d given up on it before and had to start again. However, once you get through the first quarter, it becomes so gripping. I think the problem is that at the start, there’s too many characters to introduce and the links between them are too complicated to understand, but once you get it, you really really get it and I couldn’t wait to finish. Overall, the was a really good book with a great storyline, but isn’t the best for beach reading as it does require a lot of concentration.

Geek Girl: All That Glitters by Holly Smale (Paperback £3.85 – Amazon)

These books are definitely aimed at girls younger than me, but I absolutely love them and would recommend them to any woman under 25. They’re so funny, such an easy read, and totally relatable to slightly geeky girls like me.

Geek Girl: Head Over Heels by Holly Smale (Paperback £3.85 – Amazon)

Again, this is another in the same series and I loved it just as much. The books definitely link together, so you do need to read them in order. I read books 4 and 5 on this holiday, having read the others last year, so I already knew I would enjoy these books.

Pleasure Island by Anna-Lou Weatherley (Paperback £8.99 – Amazon)

I haven’t finished this book yet, so I can’t give a full review, but so far I’m really enjoying it. It’s the perfect holiday read, which a mix of romance, mystery and scandal. It’s really like nothing I’ve read before, but I think it would appeal to such a wide range of people.

And that’s everything! I hope you enjoyed this post, and let me know in the comments if you have any book recommendations, as I’m always looking for more books to add to my reading list.

Em x

Skinny Dip Phone Case Review

Skinny Dip have become an increasingly popular brand for phone cases over the last year or so, with their fun styles attracting us girls in search of a pretty phone case. I’ve had this macaroon case for 6 months now, and thought I would do a little review, as I have a few opinions to share.

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The cases range from about £10-20, and this particular one was £12. However, they offer student discount, and there are often other voucher codes floating around the internet. One thing I love about the brand is that they are continually updating their website with new designs, so you never end up having the same case as anyone else. The designs are really cute, and there is honestly something to suit everyone. It was so hard to pick just one! In the end I chose this one because of the cute pastel colours, and the glitter in the background makes it just that little bit prettier and even more girly.

I’m very impressed with the fit of the case. It fits tightly, which I see as a good thing, because otherwise I just fiddle with it and flick it off all the time. It’s a hard shell case which is also good because it offers better protection for my phone. The only design flaw I can see, is that the case doesn’t wrap all the way round to the front, so if your phone falls face down, there is nothing to protect the screen.

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Now onto the downside. I have tried many of those cheap £1 Amazon/eBay cases before, and the image has faded and scratched within a few months, to the point at which I have to buy a new one. I thought this time I would invest in a more expensive case, naively assuming that the design would last for longer. However, 6 months in and I already feel it needs replacing. The colours have faded A LOT from when I first got it. The design is also looking fairly scratched, and considering how carefully I have treated my  phone since I upgraded to the 6S, I expected much better.

All that being said, I will most likely buy another Skinny Dip case, just because I love their designs so much. I will try and get a couple more months out of this one first, but just the thought of picking another cute design fills me with excitement – I’ve well and truly been sucked into the craze!

Do you have a Skinny Dip phone case? Let me know in the comments.

Em x

My Disneyland Adventure

As you may already know from some of my previous posts, a few weeks ago I got back from a dreamy girls holiday to Disneyland. We had 5 super busy days of roller-coasters, character meet and greets, and some amazing food. I took thousands of photos (literally – i came back with 2198), and today I’ll be sharing my favourites in a photo diary type post.

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Of course, our arrival at Disneyland began with all the typical photos in front of the castle. We had amazing weather for the whole of our holiday, which meant all of the pictures are so pretty. After the initial photoshoot, we headed for It’s A Small World, one of the classic disney favourites.

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Following the excitement of our first ride, we went on Space Mountain (one of the bigger roller-coasters in the park), and grabbed a fast pass to skip the queue for Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast,  a really fun shooting ride.

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Next, we headed over to Fantasyland, and much to our surprise, the queue to meet Mickey Mouse was only 5 minutes, so we just had to do it!

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Then we spent the rest of the day going on as many rides as possible around the Disneyland Park.

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We had dinner at a buffet inside the park, and I somehow managed to eat 7 puddings – oops! As the sun began to set, we headed to the beautiful Newport Bay Club hotel, which was only a 15 minute walk from the park.

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The next day, we woke up and headed straight back to the main Disneyland Park to meet a couple of characters, including Goofy, and then went to the Hollywood Studios park to try out some of the rides there.

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We watched a really cool stunt show, which was based on the Cars movie, and then headed back to the hotel to make use of the swimming pool. In the evening, we had an amazing dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. We then headed back to the Disneyland Park, and went on a few rides, while we waited for it to get dark so we could watch the Disney Magic fireworks display. It turned out to be so good that we stayed up again to watch it on our final night! It’s an amazing show, with parts of classic Disney films projected onto the castle, music, water displays, and of course some incredible fireworks!

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I don’t have many pictures of the third day, mostly because we spent the entire day going on as many rides as possible! On the fourth day, we got up super early and made it our mission to meet as many characters as we could. Here are some of my favourite snaps.

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As you can see, meeting Winnie the Pooh was a definite highlight for me! In the afternoon, we found a good spot on Main Street, and sat down to watch the Disney Parade, which was so good and made me feel like an excitable child again.

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Disneyland were running a special ‘Frozen Summer Fun’ promotion while we were there, so there was also a special little Elsa and Anna parade later in the day.

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As the sun began to set, we took even more pictures in front of the castle, and then found a good spot to wait for the fireworks to start.

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I don’t have many pictures of our last day, as it was much shorter and I had pretty much photographed every inch of the park by then! However, I did get some very cute ones on this little boat ride, which also happened to be our final ride of the trip.

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And sadly, that’s the end of our adventure. I hope you enjoyed this little insight into my trip! It was honestly one of the best weeks of my life, and I can’t wait until I get a chance to go back!

Until next time,

Em x

My Birthday Wishlist

My birthday is coming up towards the end of August, so I thought a fun little post would be to show you what’s on my birthday wishlist. Obviously I don’t expect to receive all of this, but the majority of any money I’m given will be spent on these items as it’s what I’m currently lusting over.

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  • Spare Badminton Racket (I’m prone to breaking strings on multiple rackets all in one day)
  • Lush The Comforter Bubble Bar (my all time favourite lush product)
  • Lush Butterball Bath Bomb (my second favourite lush product)
  • The Body Shop Lightening Drops (a pale girls essential)
  • Soap and Glory Scrub of Your Life (best body scrub everrr)
  • Ted Baker Sina Earrings (the pearl and crystal ones are so so pretty)
  • Kindle Voyage and Cover
  • Urban Decay Tease Eyeshadow (my eyebrow colour of choice)
  • Sensationail Gel Nail Starter Kit in Raspberry
  • No7 Illuminating Mirror (a makeup essential for uni)
  • Blend Active Smoothie Maker (this is funny because you’ll all think I’m being healthy but I actually want it for making frozen cocktails hahah)
  • Cycling Gloves (I use these for when I’m on the rower at the gym to prevent blisters)
  • Zoeva Face Paint Brush (I’m really excited to try contouring with this)
  • Zoeva Luxe Highlight Brush (I currently apply highlight with my fingers so this really is needed because it’s a habit I’m not proud of)
  • Zoeva Cheek Finish (I need a brush specifically for blush because I’m tired of my powder brush turning pink)
  • Zoeva Small Brush Pouch (none of my makeup bags are long enough to fit my brushes in so this will be super useful for travel)
  • Babyliss Rose Quartz Hairdryer (since I’ll be going to uni in September I really need my own since I currently use my mums)
  • Babyliss Rose Quartz Straighteners (I’ve only ever had one pair so I think it’s time for a new set, and the matching ones to the hairdryer are too pretty to resist)
  • Hotel Chocolat Salted Caramel Puddles (they’re my favourite chocolates ever so why not)

Wow that looks like a lot all written down, but I promise I’m not expecting to receive much of it! I’ll keep you updated after my birthday with what I got, and what I’ll be purchasing as a present to myself.

Em x

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Book Review: The Legend Series

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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!

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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