Sunday, 8 February 2015

Sometimes, things have to change for the better

I knew this post would have to get written sooner or later and it's all off the top of my head, nothing planned or written down in advance.

A few weeks ago, i was offered a job and i openly told everyone about it. But after some consideration and having a chat with my family, taking the job just wouldn't have worked. It's a 40 minute drive from home and i would've started my shift at 4pm which is when Carl finishes work and with us only having 1 car, it would've left us in a really difficult situation. Mainly with Carl having to stay at his parents house monday to friday until 9pm when i could pick him up and neither of us were happy with that so it was back to the drawing board.

Thankfully, i was lucky enough to be offered a job at my old place of work from a few years ago. Proper office hours, working in town so i can get a bus everyday without having to take the car from Carl and no more working until 10pm cleaning bloody police custody cells! I start there tomorrow (9th February) But with good things there has to be some bad...

Because i will be out from 8am - 6pm monday to friday, there is going to be so little time for me to put my all into Blogging. Weekends i will be working occasionally but with me working all week, i want to see my weekends as family time. So because of this, blogging won't be as frequent as it has been of late. But fear not, i have big plans.

With me working in an office, i will have the time to sit down and jot down notes and post ideas while i work which is something i could never do when i worked for the Police and also because i am working in town, i can go shopping on my lunch hour which lets face it, isn't a bad thing whatsoever.

Until i can put together some kind of schedule and buy myself a light box for my photos, blogging is on a slight hiatus but it's not forever i promise, it's just until i get into a routine in my new job and i can work out a work/family/blogging balance. I do have a little treat for you all though, me and Carl will be doing the 'Who is more likely' tag and making a video for a special valentines blog post so keep an eye out for that, i promise it will be very funny and we may end up killing each other. It's all good fun.


Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Iced Lemon Traybake // Breaking Baking #2

Everyone has their favourite type of cake and mine is definitely a lemon cake. More specifically, i have a huge weakness for Mr Kipling lemon slices. Don't get me wrong i do love chocolate cake and a classic victoria sponge but there is something about citrus and cake that makes it so addictive. 

I took this recipe from my Mary Berry ultimate cakes book and seeing as she is the Queen of baking, i knew it would be delicious.

 8oz (225g) soft margarine
8 oz (225g) caster sugar
10 oz (275g) self-raising flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
4 eggs
4 tablespoons of milk
grated rind of 2 lemons

For The Icing
The juice from the lemons 
8 oz (225g) icing sugar (sifted)

Firstly, you need to preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. You also need to grease and line a roasting tin or even better a traybake tin. I used this silicone one because i didn't have to grease and line it.

Next up you need to add all of the cake ingredients to a large bowl...

Add the self-raising flour (you don't need to sift this if you can't be bothered)
Add the caster sugar
Add the baking powder (i was so lucky with this because i just had enough for two teaspoons)
Add the eggs and milk
Add the butter

Add the lemon zest
The next thing that you need to do is mix it all together for at least two minutes. To save yourself getting nackered, it's best to use an electric whisk but if you don't have one, be hardcore and use a wooden spoon - it does the job eventually.

Once mixed, it should look like this. It's similar to most cake batters and should at least fall off a spoon. Don't add anything to it if it seems quite thick, just keep mixing until you get the dropping consistency. I also gave it a bit of a mix with a spoon just to incorporate the remaining flour, sugar etc that was around the edge of the bowl.

Pour the batter into the tin and try to smooth it out as flat as possible. It doesn't need to be precise and make sure the mixture goes right to the edges. Bake it for 35-40 minutes, checking after 35.

 Whilst the cake is baking, you can make the icing which is so so so easy. All you need is the juice from the two lemons you grated earlier (i used both because i like it really lemony but do as much as you like to suit your own tastes) and the icing sugar. 

Sift the icing sugar
Add the lemon juice
Start mixing
You should end up with a runny but slightly thick icing. If it's too sour, add a little more sugar and vice versa if it is too sugary
 By now the cake should be ready. It should be slightly coming away from the edges of the tin and should spring back when you press it gently with your finger. Take it out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin.

 Once it's cooled down, pour on the icing and spread it out. What i did was pour some on and see how much it covered, when it was 100% coated in the icing i put the remainder aside to drizzle over later. Leave the whole thing to set for about 10-15 minutes.

Once it's set or when you are too impatient to wait, grab yourself a knife and cut the cake into little squares. The recipe says it will make 21 squares but i managed to cut out 25. I guess it depends on the size of tin you use.

If it suits you, drizzle over the remaining icing once the cake has been cut. This is completely optional

And there you have it! An iced lemon traybake. I tried a piece while it was still warm and seriously, this is the most delicious cake i've ever eaten and i'm not blowing my own trumpet either. It's exactly like Mr Kipling lemon slices if not better. If you like lemon drizzle cake you will absolutely love this.

*This recipe is from Mary Berry's ultimate cake book and is no way my recipe. All credit and original idea is Mary Berry's only


Monday, 2 February 2015

SRO - Seasonal Routine Overload // A Rant

The posts where i have a rant about a topic are few and far between but they only ever happen when i have a genuine reason to blow off some steam. This time, i'm ranting about SRO ( Seasonal Routine Overload )

What i mean by this, is bloggers & Youtubers who are creating skincare/pampering/make up routines according to the seasons or holidays. Allow me to elaborate on this..

Over the past year, i have seen one Youtuber make videos about her morning, evening, spring, summer, autumn, winter and even Halloween routine. Now correct me if i'm wrong, but who in their right mind has the time or money to change their routine to suit the season or holiday? No one does so why are you pretending to have one?

Let's just reel this in a little bit. Every morning, we all have a somewhat conventional  routine when it comes to how we start our day; getting up, dressed, washed, breakfast, out the door job done. If you're one of the lucky types who has more time in a morning than most, you may apply some make up or have a shower, that's absolutely fine. An evening routine? Well the same applies i guess except for not putting make up on (i'm open to being challenged on this if it applies to you). But in my 28 years of living on this earth, i have never changed my routine to suit the bloody weather!!

In the videos this Youtuber made, the only difference in them was she maybe ate something different for breakfast or changed the colour of lipstick she was wearing. I would hardly justify that as a change in routine, i would call it making a copy of your previous video but changing a couple of points to make it look different. Some of her younger viewers may see these videos as fascinating and follow her example, but quite frankly i firmly believe that she can't think of bugger all else to film about!

But just today i have seen it all, a valentines day routine? Dear god when i thought it couldn't get any more bizarre; someone has decided to talk about what they do on valentines day? We all do the same damn thing on valentines day..we get up, go to work, come home and maybe have a night out with our other halves. We doll ourselves up, have some food, maybe a bit of nookie then fall asleep like the rest of human civilization. We don't change our entire skin care routine in the hope it will put our partners in the mood or have a bath with the brand new Lush valentines collection bath bombs with the pretence we will get a big rock put on our finger!

Even after all the hilarious posts i have read and videos i have lost 5 minutes of my life to, i think the funniest one i have ever seen was a Christmas Day routine. The Youtuber involved (seperate to the one i was talking about earlier) did EVERYTHING she had done in all her other routine videos except for, wait for it, she added a tiny bit of glitter to the outside corner of her eye. Wow, you astound me with your genius, how i wish i could have your creative flare. I sat for 5 minutes and watched this girl repeat her everyday routine, just for her to change it all for the sake of Christmas by adding a dot of silver glitter to her eye. Bloggers take note, watch routine videos, you will learn so damn much!

Rant over


Sunday, 1 February 2015

The 'Me Time' Tag

I wasn't necessarily tagged to do this but my friend Jennie did this recently and said she was going to tag me but feared i might not appreciate being tagged to do something twice in one month. Jen, lesson learnt, you were wrong but i still love you.

1. What do you watch or read during me-time?

Assuming that Carl isn't watching some kind of sport on tv; i like to watch Corrie, Benidorm and old school films like The Breakfast Club. I also have a deep love for Family Guy

2. What do you wear during me-time?
Me time generally happens on an evening so i'm usually lounging about in Carl's hoodie and lounge pants or PJ bottoms. Comfort is paramount

3. What are your me-time beauty products?
I rarely do or have time for a pamper session but i do like to throw on a face mask when i'm in the bath. Maybe a bath bomb will get chucked in too but i think my ultimate me time product is my Emma Hardy cleansing balm

4. Current favourite nail polish?
I am absolutely obsessed with my Barry M Gelly paint in the most beautiful cobalt blue shade. I used to hate the colour blue but in the past year or so, i can't get enough of it! 

5.What do you eat during me-time?
 At the minute, it's creme eggs. I find great comfort in eating them i always have done. Also i've got back into Tunnocks Caramel Wafers, i forgot how nice they are

6. Current favourite candle?
I do love my candles but at the minute i'm loving my wax burner and magic beanz from Busy Bee Candles (buy here) They let off the most incredible scent depending on which flavour you're burning and make the whole house smell lovely! At the minute, i'm using English Pride
7. Do you ever have outdoor me-time?
At one stage, i used to go for really long walks or a run when i wanted to be alone or needed some time to think. I don't do it anymore though i am getting back into running.

8. Would you ever go and see a movie alone?
I actually have done! Years ago the whole family went to Butlins and everyone fell ill with a stomach bug except for me. It was about 8pm and i was bored stiff so i went to the film hall and watched A Little Princess. It wasn't too bad actually being on my own you should try it

9. What is your favourite on-line shop?
New Look, always has been and always will be. I know where i am with New Look because i'm so familiar with their sizes and i know if something would need to be a size bigger or smaller. I adore that shop

10. Anything else to add? What do you do during me-time?

I guess blogging and watching Youtube are classed as me time, that's of course if i don't have any distractions from Sarah shouting for me every 5 minutes or Carl texting me all the way from upstairs (it saves him shouting apparently)
I'm not going to deliberately tag anyone but if you want to do this tag, feel free