Sunday, 15 March 2015

Mothers Day Gift Idea | Floral Cupcakes - Cupcake Ingredients & Method

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One of my favourite things to do now that I'm living in my own home is to cook and bake, and one of the easiest and simplest things to bake are cupcakes!! I cannot tell you how many times I've made them, and I use the same recipe every time (a recipe which I actually learnt whilst I was in secondary school during cooking lessons) and it has served me well. 

The best thing about cupcakes is that although the basic recipe is almost always the same, you can swap or add ingredients to your personal tastes! For example, make chocolate cupcakes instead of vanilla, or add some choc chips or fudge pieces to the mixture, add liquid flavouring, or even add lots of food colourings to make rainbow cupcakes as seen on the Great British Bake Off

Not only can you switch up the ingredients in the cake mixture, but there are thousands of ways you can decorate your cupcakes too, whether it be using fondant icing to cover or make decorations, or even just piping some tasty buttercream icing on top, so you could pretty much make a cupcake for any occasion! Hence today's post where I thought it would be a nice idea to make some cupcakes for Mother's Day! I made two lots, one for my mom, and one for Ashley's mom :) Here is my basic vanilla cupcake and buttercream icing recipe/method:

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VANILLA CUPCAKE MIXTURE
120g butter (room temp)
120g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
120g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder

- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees/ Gas mark 4.
- Line your 12 hole cupcake tray with paper cupcake cases.
- Cream your butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl.
- Beat in your eggs 1 at a time and stir.
- Add your vanilla extract and stir.
- Mix together your flour and baking powder in a separate bowl.
- Sieve the flour/baking powder mixture into your mixture.
- Fold the flour into the mixture until smooth and creamy.
- Mix in your milk until the mixture is of a dropping consistency.
- Spoon the mixture into your cake cases until all are filled evenly, no more than halfway up the case.
- Bake in the oven for between 12-15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
   (Insert a knife or skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean this means your cake is cooked!)
- Take out of the baking tray and leave on a cooling rack whilst you're making your buttercream...


VANILLA BUTTERCREAM ICING MIXTURE
150g butter (room temp)
350g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp food colouring of your choice
1 tsp milk

- Place your butter in a mixing bowl and then sieve in half of the icing sugar and stir until smooth.
- Pour in your vanilla extract, food colouring and milk and mix until smooth.
- Sieve in the remainder of your icing sugar and stir until you have a thick creamy consistency. 
- Once your cakes have cooled you can use a piping bag to decorate your cakes with the buttercream.

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Finally I added pretty roses made from regal icing(shop bought). All I had to do was add a food colouring, and knead through the icing until evenly spread, before I followed this amazing tutorial on how to make roses from icing without any tools! This was my first attempt at these and I think they turned out really well and look super pretty! I then finished off by adding a single edible pearl to the centre of each rose!

What do you think of this little gift idea? Have you got any handmade gifts for your mom? :)

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Fossil Stella Rose Gold Watch Review | Joshua James Jewellery

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I cannot begin to tell you how long I have wanted a Rose Gold watch in my life! Of course, like every other fashion blogger on the planet I've lusted after a Michael Kors. However being a born bargain hunter, quickly came to realise that there were plenty of other brands with watches just as beautiful as the MK's, at a fraction of the price! One brand in particular which seemed to encapsulate everything I was looking for in a watch is Fossil. Oh and I have since discovered that Fossil actually manufacture the Michael Kors watches anyway!

Unfortunately, living on a VERY tight budget I have not been able to treat myself to such luxuries. However, I was recently lucky enough to be offered a gift for consideration of review from Joshua James Jewellery - www.joshuajamesjewellery.co.uk and quickly decided upon this gorgeous Fossil Stella Rose Gold Watch - and let me tell you, it is absolutely perfect! This particular model is the Fossil Stella ES3590 which is made from Rose Gold plated stainless steel and has a bracelet style strap with fold over push button clasp for ease of use. The face is the ideal size for my wrists as it's not ridiculously large like some other models I've seen, and is circled with some pretty sparkling stones! The hands, dial and sub-dials all have rose gold detailing to compliment the outer sections. This watch has 3 sub-dials; date, day of the week and 24hrs - I particularly find the date one useful as I'm forever forgetting the date! Finally it is water-resistant up to 50 metres! 

The watch arrives in an official Fossil Gift Box, unfortunately I am not a fan of this one, as it's a little childish and not very lady-like? But that's just a minor pointer, and you could always purchase your own gift box if required! Joshua James Jewellery sell this watch backed with the official Fossil 2 year guarantee as standard - offering you peace of mind when you purchase!

I am totally besotted with my new timepiece, but I have decided to only wear it on special occasions to make the most of it for years to come! I would highly recommend this watch to anyone, and especially if you've considered buying a Michael Kors but can't justify the price tag! After all, they're both made by Fossil anyway ;)

P.S - Looking for a last minute Mother's Day Gift Idea? Why not check out what Joshua James Jewellery have to offer? They are official, authorised stockist for some of the biggest names in the jewellery industry; Pandora, Thomas Sabo, Lovelinks, Trollbeads and Links Of London - perfect to treat your mum to something special! They have free next day delivery and a box of luxury chocolates for Mum on orders over £100! 

P.P.S - I've been featured on the JJJ site, amongst a few other lovely bloggers offering a bit of advice (if you can call it that) about the hottest jewellery trends for SS15

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

I designed my sister's blog "Sprinkles Of Sarah" Check it out!

www.sprinkles-of-sarah.blogspot.co.uk // CUSTOM BLOG DESIGN, AFFORDABLE BLOG DESIGN, CUSTOM BLOG HEADER DESIGN, BLOG DESIGNER, UK LIFESTYLE BLOG, UK BEAUTY BLOG, UK FASHION BLOG, NEW BLOG, BBLOGGERS, FBLOGGERS, LBLOGGERS,

My sister is forever changing her mind on things, and her blog is definitely one of those things, she has changed the name and style and content of it more times than I can remember. However she recently asked for the help of myself and our mom to pick a new name for her blog, and we came up with Sprinkles Of Sarah. I think this time she is happy with it and is really trying to get her blog up and running properly now! 

She employed me (or so to speak, obviously non-paid haha) to design her blog from scratch for her! I shared this first design on my Instagram account, but we decided this wasn't really her style, still cute though! So I have re-designed it, and we are both much happier with the new one, its colourful, eye-catching and neat and tidy! :) 

I started with the "Simple" Blogger template and designed and coded it all from there, including:
✿ Custom coded sticky navigation bar with categories.
✿ Custom made social media icons to fit in Nav Bar
✿ Custom header design.
✿ Profile picture edit.
✿ Custom hover-over effect social media buttons in sidebar.
✿ Customised "Search" button.
✿ Post signature
✿ Post footer
✿ Grab button
✿ Edited date header
✿ Edited post title
✿ Edited sidebar headers
✿ Auto-width post images.


What do you all think of this design I've done? 


HEAD ON OVER AND CHECK IT OUT...


P.S I wish I had more time to put into graphics and design, and would love to start earning money from blog designing but unfortunately my boring, dead-end office job just takes over my life!