Saturday, 31 October 2015

Easy Cupcake Recipe


Hello everyone,

Happy Halloween!

Today (as something fun to do, and to hand out to Trick-or-Treaters), I decided to bake some cupcakes. I really enjoyed making these and the recipe was very simple, so I thought that I would share it with you. I did have make a few changes to the recipe when I didn't have all of the ingredients, and my cupcakes didn't turn out perfect, but I had fun making them and they were very tasty, too.

INGREDIENTS (makes 12)

You will need 110g (4 oz) of self-raising flour, two free-range eggs, 110g of caster sugar, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1-2 tablespoons of milk.
I actually didn't have any vanilla extract, so I decided to make mine chocolate flavored instead. You could use coco powder or hot chocolate for this.

To decorate, I used Buttercream. To make this, you need 140g (5 oz) of butter, 280g (10 oz) icing sugar, 1-2 tablespoons of milk, and you could also add some food colouring.

I'd also like to note that, for people with allergies or intolerances, I used a dairy free version for each ingredient and the cakes still baked and turned out just as well.


METHOD
 
- Before you start, switch on the oven and heat it at 180C//350F//Gas 4. This is just to make sure that the oven is already prepared and ready to bake your cupcakes later. You also want to line a cupcake/muffin tin with twelve cases. Make sure that these are oven safe.

- The next thing that you need to do is to add your sugar and butter together in a large bowl. Cream them together. Once your mixture is pale and smooth, crack in one of your eggs. Stir it into the mixture. When it is no longer visible, repeat with your second egg.

- Then mix in your vanilla extract (or hot chocolate!). At this point, mine was looking like this:


 

 
- After that, you need to add your flour - which made it look much more appetizing, and chocolaty! I added in the milk as well, until it reached a smooth consistency.
- When you're happy with the mixture, spoon it evenly into the cupcake cases that you set up earlier. For me, this was the tricky part! It was hard to keep the mixture tidy - I ended up with a bit of gloopy mess around the cases, where I'd dropped some of the mixture!
- Bake them in your oven for about ten minutes. They might need a couple of minutes extra - you could always press a fork into the middle one to test if they are ready (if they need more time, the fork will come out with mixture stuck to it). While they are cooking, you can make a start on the Buttercream. When they are ready, leave your cupcakes to cool for around five-ten minutes.

 BUTTERCREAM/ICING

- Now you have made your cupcakes, you can make a start on decorating them. Grab a bowl, and add in your butter. Beat it until it's smooth.

- Next, tip in about half of your icing sugar. Again, beat it until it is soft and smooth.

- After that, you want to repeat with the remaining icing sugar, but this time adding your milk, too.

- I didn't use any food colouring, but if you want to add some to perk up the colour, mix in some now. Stir until the colour has spread evenly.


- Now, you can decorate your cupcakes with the Buttercream! A piping bag might be easiest, or you could use a spoon to spread it across the top. I struggled with this part and the decorating went a bit wrong, but I was still pleased with them. I added two raisins to top each one off, to look like eyes, adding to the Halloween theme.

That's everything I did to make my cupcakes! The recipe was very quick, simple and I only needed a few ingredients. Overall, they were tasty and very fun to make. 

Please leave a comment below and let me know whether you have given these a go, or your favourite thing to bake!

Thank you so much for reading,
From Beth :) x
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Monday, 26 October 2015

Cosy Autumn Evenings

Hello!

Here in the UK, you can definitely tell that winter is just around the corner. As I'm sat here, it's only 6.30pm, but it's very dark outside. I'm layered up in a big, fluffy jumper and have just had a warm drink. Chilly evenings like this are perfect for having cosy nights in, spending the evening curled up with a book.  Here are my TOP TIPS for a relaxing, autumn night in.

- GRAB A BOOK

I'm going to start with this tip because it's my favourite - I love reading. I always feel like it's as if you're being transported into another life for a while, I get so caught up in the stories. Head over to your bookshelf and select a book. Pick out whatever you fancy: Maybe you'd like an easy read, one that you've read before, or something new and exciting. I think that I would choose 'Girl Online on Tour' by Zoe Sugg (review coming soon!). I absolutely loved the first Girl Online book, so I am so looking forward to reading this. Get comfy, and snuggle under a blanket, and spend sometime just to be absorbed in a story. If you'd prefer, you could listen to an audio book. You could stick one in a CD player, or plug in your headphones and download one onto a phone/tablet.


- MAKE A HOT DRINK

I picked this to go into my tips because I think that, at this time of year, it's really relaxing to warm up with a hot drink. Heat some hot chocolate (loaded with marshmallows!) , or grab some tea or coffee - whatever you fancy! I opted for a fruit tea, which I really enjoyed. Fruit teas are good because they come in lots of different flavors - mine was blackcurrant and cranberry. They are super-easy to make and only take a couple of minutes.

- WATCH A FILM

I decided that this had to make my tips because it's really relaxing. First, get comfy. Pull on a cosy onsie, or wrap yourself up in a fleece blanket and dive onto your sofa. Flick on the telly and take some time to become absorbed in a TV show or film.

- TAKE UP A NEW HOBBY

Find a new hobby! Maybe you could give cookery a go, or try a new craft project. It's always good to find a new author and to work your way through their books.  You could even open up a blog - if you do, please comment a link because I'd love to take a look.

- PINTEREST

I would definitely recommend opening up a Pinterest account. You'll be bound to enjoy being lost within the ideas and pins - I've spent hours on it before, without realising how quickly the time had gone! It's a bit like an online mind map - you can pin ideas and links to topic boards, which you have created. I mainly use Pinterest for craft ideas, but, really, you can use it for anything that you're interested in.

Leave your suggestions for Autumn nights in, in the comments. I'd love to hear your ideas.

Thank you so much for reading,

From Beth :) x

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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

October Favourites

Hello everyone!

This month feels like it's gone so quickly - I can't believe that it's almost November already! October, though, is one of my favourite months - so, I've been really looking forward to doing my October Favourites post.  There's lots of things that I have been loving this month - and please post some of your favourite things from this month in the comments - I'd love to hear about them!

The first thing that I'd like to mention, would have to be Lush! I talked in my last post about how much I love the The Comforter bubble bar - click here to find out more about it! I absolutely love everything about the The Comforter: the lovely scent, design, and the way that it creates a gorgeous bath - so it definitely has secured a place in my favourites!

The next thing that I've been loving this month is hot chocolate. It's lovely at this time of year to be able to warm up with a hot drink. This one is from Waitrose, and is delicious! (And dairy-free!). It's super easy to make: you just heat a mug of milk and add in around three teaspoons, or to taste, of the hot chocolate. To top it off, you could always add some marshmallows or cream. I absolutely love the packaging - I think that the colours, large lettering and design make it look so cosy and perfect for a chilly evening. Not only is it super tasty, it smells heavenly too!

I'd also like to talk about a book. Since I was in Year Four, I've loved Jacqueline Wilson books. That's why I was so excited to read her latest book, which came out early this month. It's called 'Little Stars' and is the fifth book in the 'Hetty Feather' series. I thought that the cover was very appealing, with it's bright background and pictures. The story line was very gripping and unpredictable - I thought that it was perfect and I was so happy with the plot. I loved everything about the book and I hope that Jacqueline Wilson will bring out a sixth book in the series - I'm desperate to find out what will happen next!

The last thing that I want to include is The Nintendo Wii. I'm not usually one for playing games consoles - I much prefer using my phone (I like to go online and chat to friends) but we got our Wii out a few days ago and I've been having lots of fun using it - so I decided that it had to make my favourites! The two games that I've been playing are 'Just Dance' and 'Wii Fit'!

So, those are all my favourites for October! Sorry that it's a bit early this month -  I'd love to hear about what you've got planned for the rest of this October in the comments - maybe you're celebrating Halloween, or stocking up on fireworks for Bonfire night? I'd also love to know about your plans for November, too.

Please comment below and tell me your favourites for October! 

I also want to mention that I've just opened a Bloglovin account. This is just an easier way to follow my blog. Please click the Bloglovin button at the top-right of the page to follow me. :)

Thank you so much for reading,  

Thursday, 15 October 2015

LUSH | The Comforter

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Hi everybody!

So, I wanted to talk about a Lush product that I got today: The Comforter. The description over on the Lush website drew me in: 'Berry yourself under a fruity blanket'. It sounded lovely! I ordered it from the Lush website, and it cost £4.95.

First Impressions...

The first thing that I noticed when I took out the product, was the colour - a beautiful, deep pink, mixed with a swirl of white. I loved this! It has the slightest hint of sparkle, which added to the magic. The scent is lovely too - it's smells sweet and fruity. I was impressed by the size - it was quite big, so looks as if it could get quite a few uses. I am super excited to try it!

After use...

I loved it! As I crumbled it under the tap, it transformed the water - the bath turned to a rosy shade of pink. It filled up with tons of foamy bubbles, filling the room with a lovely, sweet, smell. It was very relaxing and I'd definitely recommend it!

If you'd like to look into this product, click into one of the links in the first paragraph.

Have you ever tried The Comforter? Or any other Lush products? Please leave your opinions in the comments - I'd love to know what you think of them! :)

Thank you so much for reading,

From Beth :) x

Monday, 5 October 2015

Photography Tips

Hi everyone!

As I mentioned in my September Favourites, I've been loving using my camera recently. It's so special to go outside and just spend some time snapping photos. Mine's quite small, which is perfect - it's great to be able to pop it into your bag or pocket to take it around with you... You never know when the best photo opportunities will come up! So, today I thought that I would write some simple photography tips and advice that I've picked up and I'd love it if you could write some of your favourite photography ideas in the comments - I'd really like to learn some more!


Camera
To begin, you'll need something to take the photos. I like to use my camera best, because it's easy to use and just for photography, but most mobile phones come with a camera built in. Some phone cameras can be very good - I like mine because it focuses so easily, just by tapping the screen.

Light
To take the best photos, I find that natural light is best. Try positioning the scene by a window, or taking pictures outdoors. Sometimes, using the flash or a lamp can give off a glow, or be a bit too dark. I know that, on my camera, there's a 'nightmode' but I find it's easiest to wait until the morning, or to whack up the brightness on a photo editor.

Get to Know Your Camera
Research your camera, or phone camera, to learn some more about it. There might be heaps of things that you didn't know it could do! Just keep practicing - the more you practice, the more comfortable you'll feel using it, and the easier it will be to whip out your camera and quickly snap a picture.

Editing
When I'm happy with a picture I've taken, I connect my camera to the computer. Probably, you will be given a lead with your camera which you can use for this. Once on the computer, I like to edit them! I usually crank up the brightness and contrast. Just experiment and see what you like best!

Challenges
Set yourself some challenges to get going! You could try:

- Take a photo of yourself every week for a year.
- Choose a theme! This could be a colour, a toy, a shop, sweets... anything! Snap a picture of anything linked to your theme whenever your out and about, like a project.
- Take photos of your daily routine! This could be eating breakfast, walking your dog, making dinner, going to work/school...
- Grab your camera and go into your garden or local park. Spend some time just for taking photos - look through the lense and snap pictures of anything that catches your eye! This could be flowers, insects, swings - whatever you like!

I hope this helped some of you who are also interested in photography. I've been really enjoying finding out about it! Please comment any tips that you might have about photography - they'd be really useful!

Thank you so much for reading,
From Beth :) x

Q&A With Rosie

Hello!

Me and Rosie have worked together to do a Q and A post! Thank you to Rosie for choosing us some questions, and for all of her answers! Click here to view her amazing blog. :)

Please comment below with your answers - we'd love to read them!

1.) What is your favourite British TV series?

Me: That's a hard one! I don't think I can pick, but some of my favourites are Corrie, Eastenders and talent shows, like Britain's Got Talent.

Rosie: Too many to name! Probably Midsummer Murders though.

2.) What is your favourite make-up product?

Rosie: My lovely Bodyshop mascara.

3.) What is your least favourite school subject?

Me: Physics!!!

Rosie: PE and maths! 

4.) Do you have any secret talents?

Me: I love dancing!


Rosie: I'm not sure! Maybe baking?

5.) What type of flowers do you like most?

Me: Sunflowers and daffodils.

Rosie: Yellow roses.

6.) If you could live anywhere else, where would you choose?

Me: I'm not sure! I like it round here - but I would like to visit lots of different places, including New Zealand! 

Rosie: Yay! New Zealand is great! I'd choose London, definitely. Or maybe Cork?

7.) Do you have any nicknames?

Me: Yes! I like Beth best, but I get called Lizzy and Liz sometimes too.

Rosie: Yes, lots! I get called Rosie-Posie quite alot!

8.) What's your signature dish?

Rosie: Ratatouille - yum!!

9.) What is your go-to outfit?

Me: Dress, tights and boots. Maybe with my denim jacket or cardigan over the top.

Rosie: A pretty dress with my denim jacket.

10.) Which book character would you choose to date?

Rosie: Maybe Bertie from Sapphire Battersea?

We really hope you enjoyed reading this post - It was really fun to do. You can check out Rosie's version here. I also want to thank Rosie for nominating me to do the Versatile Blogger Award!

Thank you for reading this,
Please let us know which answers you would pick in the comments,
From Beth - and Rosie! :) x





          
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