Sunday, 15 March 2015

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

Mothers Day Cupcakes, Custom cupcakes, cupcake boxes,
cupcakes, cupcake decorating, cake baking, cupcake recipe, floral cupcakes, pretty cupcakes for mothers day

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:

floral cupcake box, cupcake boxes, cupcake gift idea, mothers day cupcakes, cupcakes, cupcake decorating, cake baking, cupcake recipe, floral cupcakes, pretty cupcakes for mothers day
pretty cupcakes, buttercream icing, icing roses, roses made from icing, flowers for cupcakes, cupcake decorating,
cupcake, pretty cupcake, floral cupcake, flowers on cupcakes, mothers day cupcake

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.

rose made from icing, cake decorating, pretty cupcake, flowers for cupcakes, rose on cupcake,

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

Fossil, fossil rose gold watch, fossil watch, fossil rose gold watch review, fossil stella rose gold watch review, joshua james jewellery, online jewellery stockists, joshua james jewellery fossil watch review
Fossil, fossil rose gold watch, fossil watch, fossil rose gold watch review, fossil stella rose gold watch review, joshua james jewellery, online jewellery stockists, joshua james jewellery fossil watch review
Fossil, fossil rose gold watch, fossil watch, fossil rose gold watch review, fossil stella rose gold watch review, joshua james jewellery, online jewellery stockists, joshua james jewellery fossil watch review
Fossil, fossil rose gold watch, fossil watch, fossil rose gold watch review, fossil stella rose gold watch review, joshua james jewellery, online jewellery stockists, joshua james jewellery fossil watch review
Fossil, fossil rose gold watch, fossil watch, fossil rose gold watch review, fossil stella rose gold watch review, joshua james jewellery, online jewellery stockists, joshua james jewellery fossil watch review
Fossil, fossil rose gold watch, fossil watch, fossil rose gold watch review, fossil stella rose gold watch review, joshua james jewellery, online jewellery stockists, joshua james jewellery fossil watch review
Fossil, fossil rose gold watch, fossil watch, fossil rose gold watch review, fossil stella rose gold watch review, joshua james jewellery, online jewellery stockists, joshua james jewellery fossil watch review

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!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara Review & Effects!

a picture of benefit roller lash mascara and elle magazine,
benefit roller lash mascara review and effects
a picture of benefit roller lash mascara review and effects
a picture of benefit roller lash mascara review and effects, beauty blogger, makeup review, mascara review
a picture of benefit roller lash mascara brush
a picture of benefit roller lash mascara review and effects, beauty blogger, makeup review, mascara review
a picture of close up eye of results of benefit roller lash mascara

So...Benefit have done it again! Yep, they've taken the Beauty Blogging community by storm when they released yet another fantastic mascara! One of the cult favourites amongst beauty lovers is the Benefit They're Real Mascara. But last month saw the release of the new Benefit Roller Lash Mascara, of which I have this review on today! I, like many others, have the sample size of this mascara, which was free with ELLE magazine last month! I was actually that excited that I pre-ordered my copy online so that I didn't miss out! 

Put your eyelash curlers aside girls, because Benefit claim that this mascara works the same way as rollers do for your hair! The "Hook N Roll" spoon shaped, plastic bristled wand grabs, separates, lifts and curls your lashes to provide you with extreme curl, volume and lift - in turn making your eyes appear more wide open and awakened!

To apply, start at the base of your lashes and use the specially designed wand to wiggle through the lengths to the tips, apply to your lower lash line too, and then apply another coat to your top lashes for maximum effect. Benefit do also recommend that you finish off with a coat of "They're Real" to offer more length. 

I did find the formula to be a little wet, but I left the lid open for a day or so to dry out a little, and found that it worked much better with my lashes afterwards as they didn't stick together as much! Either way, the setting formula holds the curl in place all day long and does not fade or flake off. Not to mention it contains Provitamin B5 and Serin to condition your lashes! The mascara offers a deep black satin finish and is waterproof too! All in all, a win win product and I would 100% recommend you try it out! 

The full size product retails at £19.50 which is over double what I'd normally pay for a high street branded mascara, but if you're looking to try something new (and you've already been paying this price for Benefit's other mascara's) then this is definitely worth it! I might even consider treating myself to the full size once the sample has run out!

Have you tried Roller Lash? What are your thoughts on it?

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Miss Selfridge at House Of Fraser | Navy Wax Jacket Review


(I apologise sincerely for the quality of my photographs lately...not only did my beloved Samsung Galaxy Camera suffer a fatal fall, forcing me to use whatever camera I can find at the time. But also the cold, dark and miserable weather here in the UK has not allowed me to snap in natural daylight. Unfortunately I cannot afford a new camera due to my living situation, and I can't change the weather, so these will have to do for now, sorry!!).

It will soon be that time of year here in the UK where it's not cold enough to wear a big parka anymore, yet its not quite warm or dry enough to get away with going outside without a jacket! I was recently asked if I'd like to choose something from the coats and jackets at House Of Fraser. I was given a budget of £30. Now, if like me your initial thoughts were something alone the lines of "£30, that won't get you a jacket from House Of Fraser!" Well, I was proven wrong. House Of Fraser sell many different brands of clothing, and this particular jacket is from Miss Selfridge. Admittedly, it is now in the sale for just £25, reduced from £65. But there are tonnes of other great value items which you wouldn't expect to find at such a store. 

The jacket I chose was the Miss Selfridge Navy Wax Jacket. It is a lightweight jacket, ideal for the upcoming months! I love wearing deep, rich colours during the winter months, so the gorgeous navy blue colour of this jacket is ideal! It has a slightly metallic look being a wax jacket which I really like. It is complimented with a detachable faux fur collar, checkered inner button flap, and rose gold effect buttons and zips!! The jacket fits very well, perfect in fact...despite the fact it was from the "petites" section, and I am not petite. I did find that I preferred to wear it with the waist cinched in using the elastic pulls around the waistline! 

I wore the jacket to go shopping yesterday, and wore it along with a grey cowl neck knitted skater dress (which I got from a charity shop for about £2-3. A pair of standard black leggings and my New Look high leg boots with rose gold buckle. I accessorised with a long beaded gold necklace, a couple of rose gold stacker rings - both from Primark and finally my beautiful new Fossil Rose Gold Watch (which I'll be reviewing in full very soon!) 

Have you ever ordered from House Of Fraser?? What are your favourite brands there?

5 Simple Ways To Get Your Blog Noticed!




There's no doubt about it, it's a daunting thing starting your own blog! When I did so (almost three years ago now) I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Of course I'd been reading and enjoying blogs for a few months beforehand but to be honest I barely knew anything as to what it entailed. I had questions running through my mind like "what if nobody reads my blog, and if they do what if they don't like it?" and "how can I get people to notice my blog?" and "how will I afford to keep my posts regular and up to date?".

It can be quite disheartening when you're putting everything you got into writing great content for your blog, yet nobody even pays you a visit to read what you have to say! Trust me, I've been there! I don't have a huge readership, but my blog is found and I have a lot of loyal subscribers too! I'm not claiming to be an expert Blogger by any means, but I thought I'd share a few helpful tips on how to get your blog noticed!

Comment on other blogs!
I personally think this is one of the best ways to start out getting your blog noticed! At the beginning, it was literally the only way I got anyone to check out my blog! Find other blogs with a similar genre to your own, and leave a nice, relevant comment on their latest posts. Then ask politely for them to drop by your blog sometime. Leave your blog URL for them to find you easily! BUT DO NOT write "hey, great blog, follow for follow?". I personally just ignore comments like these, as you often find they have copied and pasted the exact same thing on hundreds of other blogs that day, and not paid a bit of interest in what you have to say!

Post engaging content!
Your writing and posts are the main reason anyone would be visiting your blog in the first place, and if they don't feel enticed after reading the first post they read, chances are they won't look any further. So try and keep your posts relevant and fresh. I tend to find that posting good quality, interesting images to support your writing helps to keep readers focused and engaged in the post! 

Guest post on other blogs!
This may seem strange as you're trying to get your own blog noticed, not sharing your hard work on someone elses blog. Should you get the opportunity, you should occasionally guest post (remember to include back-links to your own blog and any social media platforms you want to promote too) on other blogs similar to your own. They will have different readers to you, and if someone reads your post and likes it, they're probably gonna hop right over to your blog to check out some more of your articles! 

Work with brands and PR agencies!
A bit of a taboo subject really. But if you're just starting out on your blog, your blog's presence on search engines etc isn't going to be great, so nobody will find you. So although it might seem like you're being cheeky, I'd definitely recommend that YOU get in touch with the brands you would be interested in working with. I understand that a lot of brands require you to have a minimum amount of subscribers/followers. But make sure you are polite and show a genuine enthusiasm for working with them and promoting their products/services. You may or may not know that a lot of brands hire agencies to engage with bloggers and do their media planning for them! I've worked with various PR agencies over the last couple of years; one of them is Total Media - an independent media agency based in London. Not only can they help you get in touch with relevant brands, but can also provide you with new and fresh content and topic ideas for your blog! 

Get social!
Sharing your posts via Social Media platforms is a great way to drive traffic to your blog! Not only is it a great way for your regular readers to keep up to date and be notified when you post, but also a way for new visitors to read your blog! I particularly recommend Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Try and set up a separate page/account to keep your personal accounts separate from your blog accounts. That way, you don't bombard your family and friends with things they aren't interested in, or even just if you don't want your close friends to see your blog! Sharing your posts on Pinterest seems to be one of the better ways that a lot of Blogger's find to get traffic to their blog! And definitely use #HASHTAGS to make sure your posts/statuses reach the relevant people!

What advice would you offer to someone to help get their blog noticed?