ALL THINGS GBBO!

So who’s just as excited as me that The Great British Bake Off is back on our TV screens?? I mean, it’s not the same without Mary Berry but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I actually enjoyed it! I’m already rooting for Steven or Tom to win – who have you got your bets on??

Last weekend me and a group of friends travelled to Oxford to check out the Foodies Festival and it was such a good day – we ate a lot of food and drank a lot of alcohol, so there was nothing not to like!

Me and the girls were lucky enough to get tickets to watch last year’s GBBO winner, Candice Brown, bake something in front of our eyes. It was so good to see her in action and have the chance to get to know what she’s like away from the screens. I’m in complete and utter awe of everything that she’s completed since winning the Bake Off last year and the platform she has built for herself.

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I honestly couldn’t believe that we got the chance to meet her – poor Candice was waiting for food with her boyfriend and we had to grab her for another one with all the girls together. Sorry! (I don’t know why I’m apologising, it’s not like she’s going to read this!).

If you haven’t already, you NEED to go and buy Candice’s new cookbook – it’s full of amazing recipes. I’ve already tried out the Mint Chocolate Cake and it was DELICIOUS!

20232816_10211731843744856_3525986930977395845_oI’m not going to include the recipe on here like I normally do because I really think that you need to check her book out – it’s 100% worth every penny and all the calories.

Love,
Emily xo

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Top 5 Favourites Right Now

Hi everyone!

I thought I’d do a quick round-up of what I have been loving recently. I’m not going to blabber on, just going to get straight into it!

L’OREAL PURE CLAY DETOX MASK

I’ve wanted to try this for so long after hearing so many people rave about it so when I saw it was on sale in Superdrug, I just had to buy it and see what all the fuss was about. My honker of a nose is my main problem area on my face, my pores are blocked and I seem to always have black heads (attractive, I know). I knew this mask wouldn’t get rid of my blackheads but my god, it’s definitely worked a treat on my pores. You can barely seem them the day after I’ve used this mask and that’s before I’ve covered them all up with foundation.

I don’t really use this mask all around my face, I just focus it on my T-Zone and my chin as that’s where I have the most problems with my skin. I absolutely love masks that you can feel working – as soon as you put this mask on, you can feel it getting rid of all the dirt. It tightens the skin so much you can barely talk, keeping in mind I only use it on my T-Zone, I dread to think what it feels like all over your face.

It leaves your skin feeling super soft and extremely clear. I’d definitely say that it’s one of the best masks I’ve ever used and you can really see a difference even after one use. I’d recommend this product to anyone with bad pores and run down skin, it really brightens it up and clears all the impurities.

NO7 ESSENTIALLY NATURAL FOUNDATION

I’ve been wearing No7 foundation for quite some time now and I’m still loving it. As my Beautifully Matte foundation is a bit too much for the hot weather we’ve been having, I’ve changed it up and gone for something that’s a little lighter and less coverage. I spent so long searching for a BB cream but they were all far too orange for me so when I noticed they did a less coverage foundation in No7, I had to give it a go. I had my skin colour matched months ago so I knew what colour I was and luckily they had it in stock.

Essentially Natural is a great foundation for this weather, it’s so light and you barely notice it’s there. It just evens out my blotchy skin and covers any blemishes I have. It’s extremely buildable too so if I’m having one of those blah days and need a little lift, I can build it up and make it a medium coverage instead of a light.

KIKO MILANO FLAWLESS FUSION BRONZER POWDER

I know I spoke about this in my last post but honestly, I can’t get enough of it. I always have so many problems with finding a bronzer that doesn’t make me look dirty and this is the first one I’ve ever found and fallen in love with straight away.

The pigmentation is insane and it’s still so easy to blend into the skin. I love more of a subtle look when it comes to an every day look so I love that I only need the smallest amount to give me a little extra colour but I also love that I can build on it when I want to.

THE BODY SHOP FRESH NUDE FOUNDATION BRUSH

I’ve never bought a make up brush from The Body Shop before as I always thought they were way overpriced for what they were but I had a voucher to use so I thought I’d give them a go and I’m so glad I did. It makes blending your foundation a piece of cake – once you’ve down a few circular motions, its disappeared and your skin is looking flawless.

This brush has two different lengths of bristles, the shorter ones are to put the foundation onto the skin and the longer ones are to buff the foundation into the skin and give it a more natural look. If like me, you’ve never tried a make up brush from The Body Shop, I’d definitely recommend this one as your first purchase.

And the biggest plus? It’s cruelty free!!

WATER

I know this is a bit of a weird one to put into my favourites but honestly, I can’t get enough of water at the moment. At the beginning of the year I promised myself that I would cut down on the amount of fizzy drinks I drank as it wasn’t healthy, I was continuously getting headaches from not drinking enough water and my skin was horrendous. Ever since starting to drink water all day every day, my skin has cleared up so much. I used to always have a couple of spots on my face at all times but now I rarely have one (what’s the betting I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning with a billion spots?)

I’m also loving adding slices of lemon and limes into my bottles of water – it makes it taste that little bit nicer and there are endless health benefits of drinking water with lemon in it so it’s a win win!

Love,
Emily xo

Question Time

Hi everyone,

Me and the lovely Jo have been talking recently and we decided it would be great for us to do something together for each of our blogs. We decided on doing a little question time for each other so we could both get to know each other that little bit more.

Here are the questions Jo asked:

1. When did you start blogging?

I started blogging back in October last year but I kept it to myself for quite a while, it was only at the beginning of this year that I actually had to guts to share it with everyone that I knew.

2. Do you think your blog has changed/evolved since then?

The only thing that’s changed about it is the way it looks. I started off with such a different idea of how I wanted to look but I changed my mind after a few months and I definitely think it was for the better. It has come a long way since I started – purely because I now know what I want my blog to look like and what I want to post.

3. Describe your perfect idea of a Friday night

Any normal 22 year old would say that their perfect Friday night is going out, having a few cocktails and going to the clubs – but give me a duvet and a cup of tea any day. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE going out for cocktails with my friends and having a good catch up but after a week at work, I just want to get into bed and watch trashy tv.

4. Tell us about your best friend

Now this is the hard question. I don’t think I can name one best friend because I have so many people I consider to be close friends of mine. Here are photos of the people who really are some of the most amazing people in my life that I love and adore!

5. What is your favourite thing about blogging?

It would have to be getting to meet some amazing people – I never thought I’d be working with another blogger so it’s great that I have the opportunity to do so.

6. What would be your ideal job when you’re older?

Anyone that knows me knows how much I aspire to be an Editorial Assistant in a major magazine but at the moment, that’s just a dream!

7. What would you consider to be one of your biggest achievements to date?

It would have to be passing my driving test last year. I started learning to drive as soon as I turned 17 but because I was still in college and wasn’t earning enough, I couldn’t afford to carry on with lessons. I eventually got back into lessons as soon as I got a full time job back in 2015 but annoyingly, I still had to do my theory and that was a mission on its own. As soon as I passed my theory, I booked my driving test to get it out the way. Unfortunately I failed the first time for THE most ridiculous reason but thankfully I was able to book another one for a couple of months down the line and finally passed.

8. What would be your advice to a new blogger?

Don’t give up and don’t be afraid of doing something you love. For so long I was scared of showing people because I thought they would just laugh in my face and think I was stupid but everyone has been so supportive and it’s made me realise that I had nothing to be scared of in the first place.

9. What is your favourite thing about yourself?

It’s got to be not caring about what other people think. You spend so much time worrying about what others think of you but you get to the point where you just think “why on earth does it matter what everyone else thinks – just do what makes you happy”.

10. Describe a day that you remember being really happy

It would have to be the day that we picked up our little puppy 12 years ago. You do not understand the love a dog can bring until you have one in your life. I am literally obsessed with her and she’s the cutest little fluff ball you’ll ever meet. IMG_0736.JPG

Go over to Jo‘s blog and see what questions I asked her!

Love,
Emily xo

Social Media

Hi everyone!

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been quiet on here recently but I’ve been busy with work and I’ve also been focusing on getting my social media sites up and running.

If you want to see what I get up to when I’m not posting on here, give me a follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

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I’ve got a lot of exciting posts planned for the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Love,
Emily xo

Enjoying the London Sun

I’m in utter disbelief that another weekend has passed and we are back to work tomorrow for another week – thankfully it’s a short one because of Easter Bank Holiday next weekend.

On Saturday, me and two friends, Sophie and Hannah, took a trip up to London to visit our friend Lauren. We most definitely picked the right day for it because the weather was beautiful – which of course meant ciders and glasses of prosecco in the sun.

We first headed to Borough Market so we could all grab something to eat. There was so much to choose from, I had never seen so many food stalls and it was completely overwhelming. Me and Sophie spotted a Pad Thai stall and we made a bee-line for the queue. We also found a nice juice stall which had a variety of different juices and smoothies, so we decided to pick one up to counter balance with all the alcohol and food we were going to be consuming the rest of the day.

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After we finished eating, we took a walk to see if we could find any nice pubs to have a drink in before we went off to the next place. We came across a really cool bar that had swings as seats – which I can confirm that it is extremely difficult to drink a glass of prosecco whilst swinging around.  As you can tell from the photo, me and Sophie were having a whale of a time. IMG_1642.JPG

I’ve always wanted to go to One New Change just because I’ve heard so many great reviews about the views you get of St Paul’s – and we were definitely not disappointed. As a group of four, we really wanted to get a group photo in front of St Paul’s but obviously, it wouldn’t have worked so thankfully Lauren had the balls to go up to someone and ask if they’d take a photo of us. This is what we got….

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Can anyone guess what’s missing in the background? Yepp you got it, St Paul’s…We went all the way up to the top to get a great photo and the numpty we asked didn’t feel the need to get the great big monument in the picture! So of course, we had to ask someone else to take a photo and this time it was Hannah’s turn. Thankfully, we got a much better shot this time around.

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Our next stop was Embankment, we hopped onto a stand-still boat and grabbed ourselves a couple of drinks. We luckily got a table in the sun pretty quickly thanks to Sophie’s eagle eyes and we set up camp for a couple of hours. It was honestly so nice being able to sit there and just take it all in – the weather, the company and the atmosphere. London is an amazing place and it’s crazy to think that just a few days ago, it was under attack.

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We then headed to Covent Garden for our final stop for drinks before heading to grab some dinner. We found nice little pizza restaurant (I can’t remember what it’s called now – sorry) and it was delicious. I ordered a Texas pizza – just like I do every single time I order Dominoes. It was extremely yummy but there was far too much rosemary for my liking. IMG_1639.JPG

After dinner, me, Hannah and Sophie headed back to Waterloo to get the train home. Annoyingly, we missed the train by 2 minutes but it did mean that we had time to grab a cuppa before hopping onto the next train.

I honestly had such a great day and I cannot wait to see them all next weekend for more sun, giggles and prosecco.

What did you get up to this weekend?

Have a great week everyone!

Love,
Emily xo

Easter Bakes

I know Easter is still a couple of weeks away but I thought I’d get into the spirit a bit early and make some festive cupcakes – it also helped that it was Sean’s birthday a few weeks ago so that was a good enough excuse to make something jam-packed with calories for his birthday present.

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The recipe for the Cupcakes is one by Mary Berry and everyone knows how much I love her so of course I had to try it out.

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 4tbsp of boiling water
  • 40g Cocoa Powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 175g Butter (unsalted) softened
  • 165g Unrefined golden caster sugar – I used normal caster sugar.
  • 115g Self-raising white flour
  • 1tsp Baking powder

For the Chocolate Icing

  • 60g Butter (unsalted)
  • 30g Cocoa powder
  • 3tbsp Milk (whole) – I used semi skimmed.
  • 250g Unrefined golden icing sugar – I used normal icing sugar.

I tested out the recipe for the Chocolate Icing but I didn’t like the way it turned out, so I just used a simple butter cream icing recipe that I’ve been using for years.

Method

  1. Line a muffin tin with paper cases. Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl, pour in the boiling water and mix into a thick paste. Add the remaining cake ingredients and mix with an electric whisk (or beat with a wooden spoon).
  2. Divide the mixture equally between the 14 paper cases. Bake in a preheated oven at 200c, 400F, Gas Mark 6 for about 12-15 minutes until well risen and springy to touch. Cool in cases on a wire rack.
  3. To make the chocolate icing, melt the butter and pour into a bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder and stir in the icing sugar a little at a time to make a glossy and spreadable icing. If the icing is too thick, gradually add the milk until it reaches the desired consistency. Pipe over the cupcakes.

For the decorations, I decided to make little nests with Creme Eggs and Malteser Bunnies sitting on top. I had never made these as a decoration for a cake before so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out because I thought they might be a bit too heavy and squash the icing altogether – but thankfully, they turned out really well and I was extremely happy with myself. I came across some miniature cake cases in Waitrose and I thought they’d be great for making the nests.

You need two ingredients to make the nests – chocolate and Weetabix. All you have to do is melt the chocolate down in a bowl over boiling water. Once it has melted, you need to add the Weetabix and ensure it’s covered completely. Once everything is covered, you need to put the mixture into the cupcakes and then place the Creme Egg or Malteser Bunny on top. I made these a couple of hours before I iced the cakes so I could decorate them straight away.

Why don’t you give it a go? Leave a photo in the comments if you do!

Love,
Emily xo

Weekend in Plymouth

My boyfriend and I always make sure that we travel down to Plymouth to see my brother and his fiance as often as we can because we always have such a great time and it’s nice to get away. As the wedding is fast approaching, I’ll be travelling down a lot more and I can’t wait!

On Saturday, the weather was beautiful so we hopped on a boat and took a trip to the wedding venue. I had only visited the venue once before and it was a windy, cold and dull day so it didn’t do it any justice at all. I was completely amazed at how beautiful it was in the sunshine and I couldn’t help but imagine how amazing it would look on the day of the wedding.

The Orangery

Annoyingly, they were preparing for a wedding so we couldn’t go inside and grab a bite to eat but thankfully there was somewhere else we could go which was about 15 minutes walk away – little did Thomas mention that it was up a ginormous hill.

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After lunch, we decided to head home and pick some bits up on the way so we could make cocktails and spend the rest of the afternoon sitting in the sun. I had come across a recipe for a Pink Lemonade Cocktail but we didn’t have any pink lemonade and raspberry vodka so we had to improvise.

Pink Lemonade Cocktail:

  • Pink Lemonade – We used J20 Spritz in the flavour of Pear & Raspberry.
  • Raspberry Absolut Vodka – I can’t remember what we used instead of this but it was something extremely similar so anything will work. Cocktail
  • Prosecco
  • Frozen Raspberries
  • Lime

Me and my brother were the only ones to actually like this cocktail and we bought enough to make two big jugs so as you can guess, we were feeling the effects later on in the evening.

Unfortunately, Sean was working all day so he couldn’t enjoy much of the sunshine but we all got to spend a couple of hours together before we had to get ready to meet two of Thomas and Sean’s friends and grab something to eat.

As you should all know by now, I love Greek food so I was extremely happy to find that my brother had booked a table at a local Greek restaurant. Of course I ordered my favourite dish – Beef Stifado and it was delicious.

After dinner, we went to a nice little bar called The Dairy which we had been meaning to go to for years but we never got round to it. I loved that the cocktails were served in pint size milk bottles, I thought it added that little extra something and made it different to other bars. We drunkenly decided to try out some of the shots they had advertised, I went for an After Eight one which I was imagining to be disgusting but it was surprisingly nice – especially because I got a free After Eight chocolate with it.

The morning after wasn’t so great for everyone. I had to drive home so I thankfully woke up feeling fresh but Thomas definitely did not – he was definitely being punished for the amount he drank.

Our trips to Plymouth always include plenty of giggles and A LOT of prosecco. I can’t wait for our next one!

Love,
Emily xo