Thursday 26 January 2017

The Best Hacks For People Who Love Baking

Over the last year or so I've discovered some tips and hacks to help with baking and I wanted to share them with you! As I'm sure you know by now, I love to bake and I like it to be as simple as possible so some of these tips have really helped me and made sure I get the best end result. 

Keeping Cake Moist 

This is my top baking tip and it is a strange one, but if you want to keep your cakes soft and moist then leave a slice of bread on each one while they are cooling. The bread hardens over time but the cake stays so moist. This also works if a cake has been left for a few hours and has started to go stale. Leave it with a slice of bread for a while and it steals the moisture, meaning it's the bread that goes stale instead. It's such a weird concept but works!

How To Check If Cakes Are Done 

Most of the time you can tell just by looking at a cake if it's done or not, if it's not got much colour on the top then it needs longer in the oven. You can also check by inserting a skewer or cocktail stick into it, if it comes out clean then the cakes done but if it has some of the mixture on it then the middle isn't cooked. You can also check by gently pressing down on the middle of the cake, if it feels spongy then it's done!

Cooling Cakes and Buns 

Now when I bake buns or muffins I always put them on a wire rack to cool, I didn't have one up until about a year ago and things used to take so long to cool meaning I had to wait longer to decorate them. Now I use my cooling rack all the time and it make things so much quicker. When it comes to cooling cakes, I put them on the rack upside down, this flattens the tops of them meaning if you want to layer them up it's much easier. 

Silicone Moulds 

Months ago I bought a silicone baking set from Groupon, it included a few cake tins and muffin tins and they have been great to use rather than normal baking tins. It's so much easier to release the cakes from them and they're is no worry that the mixture will stick to them. I hate having to mess about with baking paper with normal cake tins so these have been great. Silicone moulds aren't too expensive either so are worth getting!

Use Exact Ingredients

 This probably seems like quite an obvious one but sometimes I experiment with ingredients and it doesn't always go well. With my Salted Caramel Brownies, last time I used caster sugar instead of golden caster sugar, and even though they still tasted good, the texture was definitely different and not as good as the previous ones, it meant the caramel on top baked differently too so it just wasn't right. The same goes for my Chocolate Cake, if I use normal sugar rather than caster sugar, it just changes the texture completely. I always try to make sure I stick to the exact ingredients to get the best bake. 

Melt Chocolate Properly 

I always melt chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. I can't imagine doing it any other way now it just melts so quickly, we don't have a microwave so I can't do it that way but in the past I've burnt chocolate like that. Also, I've tried just putting chocolate into a saucepan and melting it over the heat and it's just gone into one big clump. I always know it will go right if I melt over boiling water.

Have you tried any of these baking hacks before?

Some of my recipes - Millionaire's Shortbread // Peanut Butter Cookies // Chocolate Chip Flapjack

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Wednesday 25 January 2017

5 Films To Watch On A Bad Day...

You know those days where you just need a good laugh? or sometimes even a good cry? Well I have them a lot and on those days I like to get cosy with a good film and a load of chocolate. I have picked a few of my faves that really help me on a down day just in case you are needing something new to watch or something to have a good sob to!

1. How To Be Single 

I could watch this film over and over and not get bored, it's a female led comedy and is laugh out loud funny. It's about 4 single women in New York, all at different stages in their life and it's a film not necessarily about finding somebody new but about finding themselves and all the hilarious things that happen on the way. If you like Rebel Wilson, you have to watch this, she's her usual funny self and it was great to see a more fun character from Dakota Johnson as I had only seen her in Fifty Shades. This would be a great one to watch on a Friday night with a glass of wine and chocolates after a tough week.

2. Paddington 

This is one of my favourite films, it makes me cry every time but is so funny. It's about a bear from Peru who is on the hunt for a family in London after an earthquake destroys his family home, he settles with a family but a taxidermist wants him for herself to go in her museum. It sounds silly but it is a great film and I don't care if its aimed more at younger people, it is the best and is perfect to watch if you're not in a great mood. If you have kids it would also be a great one to watch with them on a rainy weekend.

3. About Time 

This film is actually a bit sad and it does make me cry but sometimes when your having a bad day you just need to have a good cry and let it all out. This film for me is just an all time favourite. The relationship between Tim and Mary is so beautiful and everything you could want, but I love that the film is also about Tim's relationship with his dad and the scenes between them make me so emotional. There are so many funny parts in the film too and the wedding scene is one of my favourites, it really is a lovely film and one that just makes you smile.

4. This is 40

 I feel like this film is a glimpse into the future for me and George. We are such a stereotypical couple and I feel like this film just highlights all the annoying things that people do when your in a relationship! Leslie Mann makes this film, she is so good in every film she does, it's supposed to be the sort of sequel to Knocked Up but in my opinion is so much better!

5. Bridesmaids 

I don't think their are many comedies better than Bridesmaids. It just doesn't get old and is always just as funny as the first time. This is the film me and George saw on our first date and if you've seen it you know the first scene, and it was a little bit awkward to watch on a first date but it's so funny to look back on it and watch it together now. My favourite character in it is Megan played by Melissa McCarthy, her lines make me laugh every single time. It's a perfect film to watch when you need cheering up.
Have you seen any of these? What's your favourite film to watch on a bad day?

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Tuesday 24 January 2017

How I Self Care & Why It's Important...

We all do some form of self care each day, just getting up and getting dressed, eating and washing but I don't think enough people take enough time to just do what they want to do and properly look after themselves. Having a self care day can mean different things, it could be not doing any of the little, annoying jobs, it could be spending the day watching Netflix, or it could be spending the day shopping with a friend. It doesn't matter what it is but is's so important you have this time.
I think nowadays a lot of people struggle to just stop for a while and have some time out for themselves. You might think it looks selfish or you might think you don't deserve to treat yourself but everyone needs a break sometimes and we don't all have to strive to be perfect in everything we do, we don't all have to have it together. I love having a day to myself to just do what I want and really take care of myself, but I always feel guilty for it, and I won't be the only one. Sometimes I'll feel bad for not doing little jobs like hoovering the living room, or doing another lot of washing and it's so silly. Everyone needs time out to recharge and little jobs like that can wait, it isn't the end of the world. 

Different things work for different people but for me it's a combination of various things which really help me recharge and set me up for the next day. 

Reading is something I definitely don't do enough so if I am feeling particularly down or in need of some time out, there is nothing better for me than reading. I love that you can just lose yourself in a book, your mind is completely focused on the characters and the story and there is no space for your own worries. The last book that really got me was Me Before You, I just lost myself in it and found myself reading it for hours at a time. 

Resting is so important even if you don't particularly feel like you've done much to warrant it, just take 10 minutes to lay down and do nothing and just switch off, stay off social media and rest. I find this is something that helps me with my anxiety, I literally lie on the bed and do nothing and it helps me calm down and collect my thoughts and try to see things in a more positive light. Sleep helps with so many things so if you want a nap, have one! 

I love cooking and creating new things so if I am taking a day for myself, I'll try and make something I haven't made before or i'll make something that is a favourite of mine. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself and there isn't anything much better than a cup of tea and cake. 

Music helps me through a lot. I listen to music everyday, it helps me when I'm blogging and really motivates me but it also really relaxes me on days where I just want to sit and do nothing. There are loads of calming playlists on Spotify that are great for self care days or you could create a playlist of some old favourites to sing along too. 

I don't do it enough but I love exploring new places and going on walks. Last summer we found a park near our flat and had a full afternoon out exploring and it was so lovely, and it's somewhere i'll definitely go again for a long walk when I want some time out, fresh air really helps clear my mind. 

Those are 5 things I like to do on a self care day which could be quite similar to things you like to do or could be completely different. Everyone has different things which help them but I hope it's inspired you a little bit to take some time out every so often as everyone deserves it.

Similar Posts - 5 Things I Like About Myself // Turning A Bad Day Into A Good Day

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Friday 20 January 2017

Salt and Pepper Chicken Fakeaway Recipe...

We are big fans of a Chinese takeaway but as I have said before, it's expensive and to be honest I think home made is always better. I am always on the lookout for new recipes to try and for a while I had been seeing recipes for salt and pepper chicken and people doing a 'Chinese Fakeaway'. Salt and Pepper chicken is something we have when we get a Chinese and I had no idea what my own would taste like but I gave it a go and you know what it was great!
250g chicken, cut into chunks
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp soy sauce
Around 5 or 6 tbsp of smash, enough to cover a small plate, you may need to add more at some point depending how big the chicken chunks are
2 handfuls of frozen peppers or 1 pepper sliced
2 handfuls of frozen red onion or 1 sliced
1 tsp chilli powder

1. Pre - heat oven to 200 degrees and spray a baking tray with fry light
2. Cut your chicken into chunks and then in a bowl beat one egg then add 1 tbsp of soy sauce
3. On a small plate, add the smash 
4. Add the chicken to the egg mix then cover in smash, place on baking tray. Repeat until all chicken chunks are coated
5. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes
6. While the chicken is cooking, soften onions and peppers in a small pan with frylight. When soft, add 1 tsp of chilli powder
7. If you want to serve yours with Egg Fried Rice like we did, prepare your rice as normal then scramble eggs in a seperate pan, when both are cooked, mix together in a pan and add a glug of soy sauce. You can also add peas but we didn't have any. You could also use noodles if you don't want rice with it
8. To serve, add your egg fried rice to a bowl then top with onions and peppers. You can now top with your cooked chicken!

That's it! This works out so much cheaper than a takeaway and it tastes delicious. It's a perfect meal for a Friday night when you just want something tasty that doesn't require too much effort!

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Thursday 19 January 2017

3 Films You Have To Watch...

I just love films and over the last few months I've watched some brilliant ones that I had to talk about. 2 of them I'd never seen before and 1 is a film that no matter how many times you watch it just makes you feel all sorts of emotions.

The Ones Below 

This had to be first one I mentioned. It's a really creepy, weird film but one that keeps you in suspense all the way through. Two couples are expecting their first child and at first it seems like everything is normal, eventually the couple upstairs start to notice some strange things about the couple downstairs and over time it becomes clear they have some unnerving and sinister intentions. Throughout the film some strange things go on but you are always kept wondering about what is going to happen next and how it will end, it's not one you can tell straight away how it's going to go. It was on my mind for ages after watching it! If you watched The Missing on BBC you'll recognise David Morrissey in this, his characters is very, very creepy!


This is such an interesting film and one I re-watched a few months ago, it's set in the future and I suppose is a look at what could possibly happen one day in some way. It stars Joaquin Phoenix who plays Theodore, a heartbroken man coping with the breakup of his marriage, he starts interacting with a new operating system, played by Scarlett Johansson, and over time he starts to fall for her. It is a strange concept and definitely an odd story but so worth watching. It makes you feel all the emotions, it was just as good watching it the second time round, definite 5 out of 5. 

The Shallows 

This is basically a modern jaws film and one I wasn't that bothered about seeing at the cinema, but after finding it online a few months ago I had to recommend it. Blake Lively plays Nancy who is into surfing and has found herself in an area where there are great white sharks, and obviously you know it's not going to be a nice trip to the beach. She is stranded on a rock in the sea and has to try and survive and find her way back to shore. You might think this is one that has an obvious ending but it does keep you guessing and you don't really know which way it's going to go and I felt tense throughout.
Have you watched any of these films, if you have what did you think?

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Wednesday 18 January 2017

My First Bath & Body Works Candle...

A few months ago I entered a giveaway and ended up winning a few Bath & Body Works goodies. I literally never win anything so I was so happy, and everyone always raves about Bath & Body Works so I was really excited to see what their stuff was like. I won a candle in the scent Leaves and a mini hand sanitizer in the scent Coconut Pumpkin Latte, both very autumnal and probably something I would pick myself! 
I'm a complete candle addict, especially in the run up to Autumn and Winter so this candle really was a great addition to my collection. I chose to have it in the bedroom on the windowsill and honestly I have been so impressed with it and I absolutely love it. It's supposed to have hints of crisp red apple, golden nectar and warm clove spice. It has a really woody scent to it which is I suppose what you'd expect with it being called Leaves, but you can really tell there's a sweetness in it which comes from the red apple. I've noticed that this doesn't even really need to burn for that long to give off an amazing scent. We sometimes burn it at night if we're watching something along with my dupe, brown sugar allspice, but this is the one that really gives off a scent compared to the other one. I can also smell it from another room if i've lit it in the bedroom while I go to do other things, so it really fills the whole flat. It just looks so pretty too, I think it fits so well in the bedroom and goes with everything else we have. This candle is supposed to burn for 25-45 hours and so far we're not even nearly finished with it. It's also burning evenly aswell as it's a 3 wick candle. 

I don't think I would ever spend over £20 on a candle but if I was to buy anything in the future from Bath and Body Works, this would be the one so far. I love everything about it and I think I'll be quite sad when I have to replace it!

Have you ever tried anything from Bath & Body Works? Or have you tried the dupes?

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Tuesday 17 January 2017

How To Save Money On Your Food Shopping

Recently we've been trying to save some money and cut back and the main area we knew we spent too much on was food! So here are a few of my tips for saving money on your food shop that we've been trying over the last few months.

Tinned Food 

We always go for the value version of things like chopped tomatoes and kidney beans, because to me they all taste the same, they're both around 30p each from most supermarkets. I use chopped tomatoes to make all sorts of sauces and I always have things like kidney beans in, in case we want to make a chilli and they're great to bulk up a meal. When it comes to baked beans we have started getting Aldi's, they are £1 for a pack of four and taste exactly like Branston beans.We go through them quite quickly and that's one thing we're usually get fussy about but Aldi's are honestly just as good. Another thing I've started buying recently is tinned potatoes. There have been so many times when we've bought a pack of new potatoes and then we change what we want so they just get thrown away. I'm sick of wasting them so I've been buying tinned potatoes instead. They're great to throw into a curry, it's really bulks it out and you can get a few more meals out of it then rather than just one nights. They're great done in the oven too in a load of herbs and salt and pepper! In Aldi I'm sure they're only 15p for a big tin which is brilliant!

Leftovers and Portion Control 

We really needed to get the size of our portions under control, we were always making too much pasta or rice so now we try to make sure we're weighing things before cooking. We try to do 75g of pasta each which doesn't look like much but is actually really filling, and none of it gets wasted. It means we're not always having to buy pasta aswell as there's always plenty left in the pack for more meals. For Rice we use Aldi Boil In The Bag Rice, 1 bag serves 2 and it's the perfect amount, and I love rice but even for me it's enough! For a pack of 4 it's only 59p which is an absolute bargain! We also really make an effort now to save any leftovers, if I make something like chilli there will be enough left for two more meals, so George sometimes takes a portion to work and I'll have some for lunch.

Freezing Food 

We don't have a microwave so we don't actually freeze our leftovers but we used to when we were in our flat in Leicester and it was always great to pick something out the freezer and re-heat it on nights we didn't want to cook. Normally we just leave leftovers in the fridge for the next day but we really would save a lot of money and time on nights we can't be bothered if we had frozen a few meals. I really recommend if you can, if you make something like Chilli or Bolognese, leave some spare and freeze in a Tupperware. Something else I have started doing recently is freezing fruit that is about to go out of date or hasn't been eaten. We have frozen fruit in anyway most of the time for smoothies and it's great to grab out the freezer to top porridge or cereal, usually works out a lot cheaper than buying fresh fruit that goes off so quickly aswell.

Plan Simple Meals and Use Up What You Have 

Most of the time I end up spending quite a lot of money on meat for the week, but recently I've been making more of an effort to use up what we have first before ordering more. I also see what packets and tins we have, e.g. spaghetti, rice, tinned potatoes etc. so I try to plan meals around those things rather than getting extra things when we already have other stuff in that I could do something with. If we have a lot of bacon, I'll plan to do something simple using that, 1 thing which we love is just pasta and bacon made with a tomato sauce. I warm up a tin of chopped tomatoes, add in some beef stock, herbs, seasoning and let it simmer to thicken a little bit then stir in cooked pasta and bacon and it's lovely! So easy to make and cheap ingredients. We also like pesto pasta, that's another simple meal and cheap. We get jars from Aldi for less than £1 and it's great for a meal one night and then extra for lunches in the week. We also like doing breakfast for tea occasionally, eggs are cheap, we always have beans and bread in, bacon is usually always in our fridge so we make a slimming world friendly fry up.

These were just a few of the ways we've been cutting our food bill down, recently our main shop has only been £30 (we budget £50 a week) and then with a few extra bits throughout the week and treats at the weekend it's ended up about £40 so we've been making a saving of at least £10 a week which for us is great! They all seem like pretty simple tips and you might already be doing some of these but I hope for a few people it's given you a few ideas on how to save some money.

Do you have any tips for saving money?

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Monday 16 January 2017

How To Stay Organised

I have had this post sitting ready to go for ages, and then last night I decided to completely re-write it and take brand new pictures. I just had the urge to start again. Anyway, hopefully all of that will have been worth it and you get some useful tips from this post. I wanted to write about organisation and what I do to try and stay on top of things because I find posts like this really help me.

Make A List 

This is something that really, really helps me, it helped in college and university, it helped me at work and it helps me at home. I don't like everything all muddled together so I try to separate everything I have to do into 2 categories, work and home. I just use a basic list notebook and I try to think of everything that needs doing and then throughout the day i'll go through and tick off whatever I've done. It's a really good feeling when you look back and see how much you've done and you can feel really proud of how much you did on a day where maybe you didn't want to do much at all!

Get The Boring Things Out Of The Way 

When making a list, I try to put things at the top that I know I won't want to do so I don't have to dwell on them all day and I can just get them out of the way. That could be something that needs doing at home or if there's emails I have to respond to, whatever it is I don't want to still see it on my list at 4pm. 


I love having a diary. This can be separate to your list of jobs to do, but can be good for you to make note of any people you need to see, any places you need to go, things you need to buy, and for me, which blog post I need to publish each day. A simple diary really helps plan your week. I love my 2017 diary and this year I'm making a real effort to use it and keep on track with filling it in.


 I am someone who really struggles to get stuff done if things are messy. Whether that's at work and the desk is a mess or if I'm at home and the kitchen needs cleaning. Just the smallest things stress me out and I can't even relax at night if I know I've left things out that need sorting the next day, for me it really is tidy space, tidy mind. If I am going to dedicate a few hours to blogging, I like to be able to go straight into the room and start rather than having to do the pots, hoover, sort the rubbish first, so these are things I always try to keep on top of. 

Don't Be Hard On Yourself 

Sometimes I really push myself to get loads done and other days I really don't want to do anything, and sometimes there's nothing wrong with that. I think everyone puts so much pressure on themselves to be perfect and for me I like to get as much done as I can, I want to impress but it isn't always about that, some days I struggle to even get out of bed so anything I do on days like that is a bonus.
L-R - List notebook, Notebook for bills, Diet Notebook for tracking my Slimming World progress! A few extra books I use to help stay organised.
So, those were my tips on staying organised. They might not help anyone or they might help a few of you but at least I can look back on this and remind myself of what I need to do if I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with work and home things. 

What do you do to stay organised?

Did you see my last post? 2017 Blogging Goals!

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Friday 13 January 2017

2017 Blogging Goals...

So it's time for my 2017 Blogging Goals! I'm really excited to be doing this post as I didn't do anything like it last year and I know it's really going to help me stay on track with blogging. I want to look back next year and have achieved all of these things! 

  • Commit to blogging 5 times a week - This is something I've wanted to do for a while but while I was working it just wasn't possible and to be honest I completely neglected my blog. Now I've got more time on my hands I've set myself the challenge for 2017 to blog 5 times a week and so far it's going well! I have so many ideas and I want to get them all out so at the moment I'm not struggling for posts. Fingers crossed I can keep up with it.
  • Take part in more Twitter chats - I take part in quite a lot of comment storms and things like that each week but I definitely don't take part in enough chats and interact with bloggers enough. I get quite shy about it and worry I just don't fit in with everyone else but I need to put those thoughts aside and really make more of an effort to take part in them. I made a list in my new diary just after Christmas of all the chats and when they start so I'm hoping that will help me as there are just so many I lose track of when they are on!
  • 1000 Twitter Followers - I really want to grow my Twitter following this year. I don't think I'm doing too bad, I hit 600 a few days ago but that is nothing compared to some bloggers so I know this is something I really need to work on. My goal is 1000 for this year and I'd be very happy with that as that is still a lot of people! I am secretly hoping for a bit more though so we'll see. 
  • 500 Instagram Followers - Instagram at the moment is just a nightmare, not just for me, for so many bloggers. As soon as you get a new follower, about 10 unfollow so it's a constant battle and so my actual number of followers never really changes. At the moment I'm at around 420 so I'm starting small for this and just hoping to make it to 500 this year. Again, I would secretly love more but with it the way it is at the moment I don't want to aim too high. Anything more would be a bonus. 
  • Write More Personal Posts - I used to be quite scared about opening up on my blog and letting more of myself out in my posts but now I really just don't care and if there is something I want to talk about, I just do. I was quite honest about my anxiety in 2016, aswell as my reasons for my leaving my job and also reasons why I don't really like birthdays and all of those posts got a really good response from people. I find it's my most personal posts that people engage with the most. Those are the things I like to read from other people too so I definitely want to carry on with those sorts of posts in 2017.
  • Improve my photography - I do think my photography has got better since I first started blogging but it's nothing compared to some and a lot of the time I never feel my photos are good enough. Recentely I saw people on Twitter comparing their old blog photos to most recent and it put me to shame. Mine are awful compared to the ones I saw and it made me realise that mine aren't too different to what they were almost 3 years ago! I don't really know where to start but I definitely need to improve blog photography in 2017.

  • I'm going to work so hard to achieve all of these. I love blogging so much and I would love to really make something of this one day so I need to do everything I can to make that happen. Some of my goals are quite small so if I achieve anything extra with some of them, then that's amazing but for now I don't want to get my hopes up too much and then be let down in a years time! Anyway, have you set yourself any blogging goals? I would love to read them. 

    Did you see my personal 2017 goals?

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    Thursday 12 January 2017

    Tasty Millionaire's Shortbread Recipe

    Today I'm going to be sharing with you a recipe for Easy Millionaire's Shortbread! I say easy.. it does take a big of time and effort but the ingredients are all quite basic and you'll probably already have a lot of them in your cupboards. I made this a few months ago now and it was something I had always wanted to attempt but just never thought to do it. I gave it a go and it actually tasted delicious, so I wanted to share the recipe with you. I'll be honest I didn't get the best pictures of it and it definitely doesn't look pretty but really all that matters is the taste.
    Millionaire's Shortbread
    Ingredients: Shortbread
    200g butter
    100g caster sugar
    275g plain flour

    Ingredients: Caramel 
    397g tin of condensed milk
    200g butter
    3 tbsp caster sugar
    4 tbsp golden syrup

    200g milk chocolate
     100g white chocolate

    1. Pre - heat your oven to 180 degrees (160 fan) and line a square baking tin with baking paper
    2. In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until soft and smooth
    3. Sift in flour then mix until it starts to form a dough
    4. Tip your dough into your baking tin and flatten down then bake for 20 - 25 minutes
    5. Leave to cool in the tin while you prepare the caramel
    6. In a saucepan, add the condensed milk, butter, sugar and golden syrup and keep it on a medium heat until everything has melted and the sugar has dissolved. When the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up high and boil for around 7 minutes. You'll know the caramel is done when the mixture has thickened and gone darker in colour
    7. Pour over the shortbread and leave to set in the fridge for at least two hours
    8. When the caramel has set, melt the milk chocolate in a bowl over a pan over boiling water. Pour over the caramel
    9. Melt the white chocolate and then drop spoons of it over the milk chocolate. Use a skewer or sharp knife to swirl around
    10. Leave to set for another 2 hours then cut into squares and enjoy!
    Millionaire's Shortbread before slicing
    slice of Millionaire's Shortbread
    I think this is one I'll get better with over time in terms of presentation but for a first attempt I was really happy! Let me know if you give this recipe a go.

    Other Baking Recipes - Simple Chocolate Cake // Raspberry & Vanilla Cupcakes // School Sponge Cake

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    Friday 6 January 2017

    December Favourites - The Hunger Games, Elf & Christmas Food!

    Today I have my December Favourites for you, how insane is it that we're now in 2017?! I can't quite believe how fast 2016 went and that it's now over. Anyway, most of my December Favourites are Christmas and film related but I've tried to add a few other bits in just to mix it up a bit.
    Hunger Games Image.
    The Hunger Games - I put off watching the Hunger Games trilogy for so long! I don't know why but it never really appealed to me but a few weeks ago as there was nothing on TV, we watched the first one and as it was actually amazing, we ended up watching the 3 other films in the same week! It was so different to what I expected and I thoroughly enjoyed each one. After the first one we just wanted to stay up and watch the second and after the second we felt exactly the same about watching the last two. We're gonna have to get them on DVD as they were brilliant and so much better than I expected, I'm so annoyed I left it so long to give in and watch them! I think the second film Catching Fire was my favourite of them all.

    Christmas Decorations - We put up our Christmas Decorations the last weekend of November which some probably think is quite early but as we had Georges brothers stopping at the beginning of December we wanted to get them all sorted and the flat be really Christmassy for when they arrived. I loved making the flat really cosy and having the tree lights on every night. We picked up a few little bits when we were in Manchester so it was nice having some new decorations, we had our Christmas Countdown which George changed every morning without fail, and of course we had lots of Christmassy candles burning throughout the month.

    Roku Stick - This is a bit of an odd one but on Black Friday we picked up a Roku stick from Currys as it was on a really good deal and George had been wanting something like this for ages. It's basically a USB you connect to your TV and it means you can get things like Youtube, Netflix and Catch Up (iPlayer, ITV, 40D etc) wherever you are. We have the XBOX One and Sky in the living room so we're sorted in there but in the bedroom we only had Freeview and shocking signal so we could hardly get any channels so this has been amazing. It means now we can catch up on TV in the bedroom and as I'm struggling with sleep at the moment I can catch up on loads of Youtube when George is fast asleep! I was never really convinced before and I thought it was just an unnecessary thing to buy but it is really great and I'm so glad we have it now. 

    Shortbread - There is something about shortbread that just screams christmas to me! We picked a few different biscuit selections up in the run up to christmas and at the beginning of December we tried a shortbread selection from Aldi, it was beautiful so I had to mention it. I think it was £1.99 and it included shortbread fingers, rounds and petticoat tails and it was honestly some of the best I've ever tasted.

    Elf - I always look forward to watching this at Christmas, it just never gets old does it? It's always just as funny as the first time and I never get bored of it. To say how long the film has been out and how much we love it, we actually didn't get it on DVD til December, it was a lot harder to find than you'd expect! But now we have it and I can't wait to watch it again next Christmas!

    Christmas Food - I know I mentioned Shortbread above but I had to mention just all the Christmas food! We stocked up on so many things this year, we had a massive bag full of chocolate tubs and boxes, crisps, biscuit selections and crackers, just all sorts of stuff, aswell as drinks too, there is only two of us but we go all out! I started buying early so we got the Turkey in plenty of time and then over the last food shops in the run up I got everything else and we had a feast of a Christmas Dinner. All the pigs in blankets which are my absolute favourite and huge yorkshire puddings!

    Arthur Christmas - This is one of those films I had seen people go on about and even though I always wanted to watch it we didn't get round to it until the weekend before Christmas. I really wish we had watched it sooner as it was such a lovely film. If you haven't seen it before, it's about Santa's son Arthur who goes on a mission to deliver a present they had misplaced earlier than night, to a little girl. It made me feel so chrismassy and it has definitely become one of my new favourite Christmas films, I can't wait to watch it again.

    Want to read more about our Chrismas? You might like to read - Christmas 2016...

    Last Months Favourites - The Missing, New Shoes & Hot Chocolate!

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    Thursday 5 January 2017

    Birthday Wishlist 2017...

    As my birthday is literally in 2 days I'm not expecting much, if anything from this wishlist, I just really wanted to do one as I have before and I really enjoy putting them together. As George's birthday is also this month, we have done what we did at Christmas and have given each other a spending limit. We love buying each other things but really didn't want to spend too much as we're going away for the night at the end of the month, so this is just done a little wishlist of a few things I would love.
    • I love This Works products and as Boots had some great offers on their products on Boxing day I picked a few things up and George has put one of them away for my birthday! So I suppose I do know I'm getting something of theirs but I still had to include it. I just love all their products.
    • I've seen a few people mention Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig and it's seems like an amazing book. It's about ways to live better and feel more alive and the story of how Matt overcame crisis and learned to live again. I've heard this is particularly great for people who have suffered with Anxiety and Depression and some say it has literally saved their lives and as I know just how hard anxiety can be sometimes, I really feel like I need this.
    • I absolutely loved Suicide Squad and as soon as we saw it in the cinema I wanted to see it again so I would really like this on DVD. Sticking with DVD's, another one I just love is Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. I laughed all the way through this, I thought it was hilarious and I know it's a film I could watch over and over. 
    • Prosecco might seem like a bit of an odd one but I love the mini bottles from Aldi and even though I do get them every so often, I just really want to chill on my birthday with a nice glass of it after some good food. 
    • I really want to get some sort of office done in the spare room soon so I can properly have a space to blog and take photos. Of course if I get an office, I'm gonna need lots of stationary! I'm just a sucker for cute things from Paperchase and I love that they do little things like the bear eraser and bear highlighters for quite low prices. If you couldn't tell I love bears so you know anything bear related is a winner. Notebooks are also an essential for bloggers, I like to keep track of blog posts I still need to write, what days they're being published and other things like that so I really love little presents like that where I can keep all my ideas. 
    That's about all I can think I would want for my birthday, obviously I'm really not expecting all of this and I'm honestly fine with just cake and a card but it's just nice to do these posts!

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    Wednesday 4 January 2017

    Spinach & Philadelphia Stuffed Chicken Recipe...

    I'm not sure why I've never posted the recipe for this before as it really is a favourite of ours. George especially loves it so I try to make it every so often and it's a bit different to other things we have. I actually saw a video of this being made a while ago on Facebook and at the time I wasn't sure if it would be very nice but it really is lovely, even though it does require a bit of effort, the results are worth it. 
    2 chicken breasts
    1/2 a bag of spinach
    2 tbsp of Philadelphia
    60g of grated cheese

    1. Pre - heat oven to 200 degrees and spray a baking tray or dish with frylight
    2. Cut any fat off chicken breasts and slice the top of them, about 5 times depending on the size of the chicken, don't cut too far down as you don't want to cut it completely, just enough to make a slit to fill with the mixture
    3. For the cheesy mixture, wilt a load of spinach in a hot pan, I usually use about half a bag for two of us as it wilts down to nothing
    4. When your spinach has wilted down add in two tablespoons of Philadelphia or cream cheese and keep stirring until it's melted
    5. When all the mixture has mixed together and the cream cheese is melted and soft, add a few teaspoons to each slit in the chicken breasts
    6. Cook for around 30-40 minutes in the oven, depends on the size of the chicken. Add 30g of grated cheese to each chicken breast and put back in the oven until it's melted
    7. Serve with potatoes and veg or salad. If you want to make the chips in the picture, these are Slimming World friendly and are literally baking potatoes sliced and boiled for 10 minutes, covered in herbs, salt and pepper and in the oven for around 30 minutes

    This is a really tasty meal and even though it requires a bit of effort don't be put off by that, it's worth it and it's one we love making!

    Other Recipes - Meatball Pasta Bake Recipe // Summer Berries Smoothie

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    Tuesday 3 January 2017

    Lush Boxing Day Sales Haul...

    If you went on Twitter on Boxing Day you probably saw all the drama going on with Lush and if you tried to get on the website I'm sure you will agree it was just an absolute nightmare! Luckily after hours of trying I managed to order a few bits so I thought I would do a little haul and show you what I managed to stock up on.

    • The first one I ordered was Shoot For The Stars. I think this is the ultimate Christmas bath bomb, it's so pretty in the water and it's one I'm always sad about when I run out of them! I got two of these as I already had one left from my London trip. 
    • I also got another Never Mind The Ballistics bath bomb which I absolutely loved using last time. The colours that came from this were amazing. 
    • Another bath bomb I picked a few up of was the Father Christmas one. This is one I look forward to getting every year! You wouldn't think much of it just looking at it but it makes the water go a lovely emerald colour and honestly it smells gorgeous. 
    • Even though I got Golden Wonder for Christmas it's one of my favourites and I like to leave them til last so I had to get another. 
    • Northern Lights is one I haven't had for absolutely ages! I don't think I was blown away by it last time I used one but it's been a while so I'm going to give it another go. 
    • Butterbear is just the cutest. I always get one of these at Christmas, it makes my skin feel so soft and I just feel lovely after a bath with one of these. 
    • A bottle of Snow Fairy also made it onto my order. I usually get loads of this when it comes out but this year I mainly stocked up on bath bombs so this was just a last minute addition. If you're still yet to try this shower gel, stock up next year as it smells so sweet and the scent lasts for ages. 
    I'm so glad I managed to order a few bits. I know some people thought quite badly of it all but people can spend their money on what they want and I like bath bombs! I wasn't too impressed with any other sales going on and Lush was really the only one I was bothered about so I made sure to get a few of my faves.

    Did you manage to get anything in the sales?

    Similar Posts - Never Mind The Ballistics Review // Shoot For The Stars Review

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    Monday 2 January 2017

    2016 - A Reflection and Roundup Of The Year

    So time for the first post of 2017 and it's a roundup/reflection of 2016. I was debating whether to do this post or not for quite a while as last year really didn't go how I planned but I want to document everything on here, the good and the bad. I've also done a reflection post like this for the last two years so I thought I better carry on with it. Even though there were some pretty crappy times in 2016, there were also some great times and I think it's important I almost remind myself of some of the good things that happened as it's so easy to get caught up in all the negative and to put it blunty, think it was just a shit year.

    Also as of today I'm going up to 5 posts a week so I think this is quite a good one to start on!
    I suppose the first thing I need to talk about is the fact I left my job. I wrote about it here and it got such a great response from people, it was lovely to receive so many supportive comments and it was nice to know that I really did do the right thing and it felt so good to just get it all out. I didn't think at the end of 2016 I would no longer be in a job, the year had started out well and I had been offered a full time job but over time things just changed and when my health started being affected I knew it had to stop. It definitely wasn't something I thought would happen. I would love nothing more than to be in a full time job but ultimately health is more important and my mental health has really took a battering the last few years. At the moment I'm just taking some time out to decide what it is I really want to do, I'm spending more time on my blog and I'm focusing on getting better. Hopefully 2017 will be the year I get back into work, whether that's full time or part time I'm not sure yet but I hope by the end of the year I'll in some some sort of work and happier than I was in my previous job. 

    As I just mentioned my blog I should probably talk about a bit about that. Deciding to start blogging was honestly the best decision I ever made. I am so happy I decided to do this, I've spoken to some really nice people online and the blogging community can be a lovely thing to be part of sometimes. I  also got into a good routine with posting last year, I aimed for three a week on set days and I've decided for 2017, for now at least I'm going to go up to 5 days a week! I have so many ideas and I can't wait! Aswell as this I'm also really proud to have worked with some amazing brands over the last year. I get so happy every time I get an email or a response from a brand wanting to work with me and I am always so, so grateful for anything I receive. If I had to pick a favourite from 2016 I'd have to say the Date Night Box one was a real highlight, but they have all been amazing. I really neglected my blog when I got a job but I'm so glad I can put so much time and effort into it now and I'm really proud of how it's come along since I first started.

    In 2016 we made a few changes to the flat and I love them all. We haven't done too much but just little things we've added to the living room or the bedroom have really made it feel so cosy and homely. We've been here two years now and at first I really struggled to accept it was our new home, it just didn't feel right, but now I love our little place and especially now we've done some more work with it, it just feels right. There will always be things we want to change, we've been saying for two years we want to make an office out of the spare room, we're slowly getting there but by the time it's finished, we'll probably be moving! We also definitely want to paint the bathroom in 2017. I can't cope with a bright green bathroom anymore (it was like that when we moved, we didn't choose it!) but apart from that I think everything else is done. I really hated the bedroom up until a few months ago but now I love it. We decided to do a photo wall as it was just so bare and it sounds silly but just adding a few things to the wall made all the difference! I've been adding to it for months now, just a few prints and postcards at a time and it looks great. It's something I can keep adding too and changing so it keeps things fresh.

    Last year we had some great weekends away, our trips to London just made my year. I will never forget any of our trips there, I am completely in love with the place. I know we've never been abroad together yet, we've been together over 5 years and sometimes that does get me down but really I'm so happy we've just been anywhere together, we've had some really lovely days away and I know it's so soppy but it really doesn't matter where we go, just spending time together is what's important and we had a really lovely full two weeks together in November. George works so hard and I'm so proud of him for doing so well in his job, he is smashing it, so those two weeks off were so deserved and we had such a brilliant time. 

    I am a bit apprehensive about the next year, I honestly have no idea what it holds for us, but I suppose that's exciting too. I'm trying to just be laid back about it all and see what happens. Hopefully I'll get some sort of job and I'm really hoping I can keep growing my blog, I'm so proud of what I've done with it this year so I definitely want that to carry on and keep on improving! I don't want to talk too much about what we want to happen for us as a couple or personally because it would just be depressing to look back in a years time if those things haven't happened! but the main thing for us is finally getting married. We've been engaged for just over two years now and neither of us really want to leave it any longer than this year so we're finally starting to do something about it and we just have to hope it all goes to plan. It would be so, so lovely though for 2017 to be our year and for things to finally happen that we've wanted for so long!

    Last Years Post - 2015..

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