Friday 27 March 2015

Making Heart Shaped Scones

Hi everyone, this week I decided to try making some scones, I'd never made them before but the recipe I found looked nice and easy, so I gave it a go.  Thankfully they seemed to turn out pretty well and looked and tasted great, I was really happy with them, and they were really easy to do.  So I thought I'd share my recipe with you so you can have a go at making them too :-)

First of all gather up all the ingredients

I've listed everything you need and the amounts on this recipe page, just click on it to see it bigger.

Firstly, add the flour, salt and baking powder in to a food processor or mixing bowl and mix well.

Then cut the butter in to small pieces and blend in with the rest of the ingredients.  If you're doing this in a bowl, it's time to get messy - rub the butter in to the mixture with your fingers.  I found it was easier to mix everything together while the butter was at room temperature and not straight out the fridge.

Next up, gradually add in the caster sugar, mix in well but only until you can't see any more sugar.  The more you mix the ingredients for scones you lose the air in the mixture and they tend to come out tasting a little more dense and heavy, rather than light and fluffy, so I'm told!

Finally, pour in the milk and mix until all the ingredients comes together and you end up with a soft pliable dough.  If you would like to add any currents, raisins, cherries or chocolate chips, now is the time to do it.

Time to get messy again, sprinkle some flour on to a large clean board or work surface, then pour out the dough and sprinkle a little more flour over the dough, this will help it to not stick to everything, including you!  Lightly press the dough in to a circle and gradually flatten it down to approximately 1 ¼ inches (3.5cm).  Again don't press too heavily or you'll squeeze the air out too much and remember to keep adding a little flour to keep it from sticking.

Using a heart shaped cutter, lightly tap the cutter in flour, press it in to the dough and lift the cutter up, then carefully push out the shape on to a baking tray.  Each time you cut a shape, make sure you tap the cutter in flour first to stop the dough sticking in the cutter.  Once you've cut out all the shapes and are left with small pieces of dough, just reshape the pieces and flatten to cut out more shapes.

This recipe makes roughly 16-20 scones, depending on the size of cutter you use, as you can see I wanted to make some nice large ones and some little mini ones too.  To make them brown nicely, brush over the tops of the scones with a dab of milk before putting them in the oven.

Cook on 220º fan oven / 200º gas, for about 10-12 minutes but keep checking them and only cook until they are a nice very light brown.  Finally test them with a fork, if it comes out clean, they're done.

Lay a clean old tea towel on a wire tray. . .

. . . Then lay out all the scones. . .

. . . Then cover them with the other half of the towel, this will help them cool, without them going stale.

Once cooled, cut a scone in half, spread with a little butter, cheese spread or your favourite jam and enjoy with a nice hot cuppa :-)

I hope you enjoyed this post, I really enjoyed doing it and I loved making the scones too.  I can't wait to have another go and this time add in some of the optional extras I mentioned (especially the chocolate chips!)  Let me know if you have a go at making these and tweet me your pics of the finished scones, I'd love to see them :-)
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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Monday 23 March 2015

#Dear Me - revised

Even If You Read This Before Please Re-Read:I just wanted to add a huge apology to this post, I realise after re-reading my original write up that it may have been taken a different way to how I intended it to be, I realise by some of the things I wrote that it may have sounded like I wasn't brought up well, given encouragement or helped to feel confident as a child but that was far from how it was.  And I just wanted to say that I am truly sorry for giving anyone the wrong impression and to anyone I have upset by what I wrote.

Hi everyone, I've heard about this new tag quite a lot recently on Youtube and other places, which apparently has been made up in honour of National Women's day which was celebrated last Sunday on the 8th of March, and I really like the message behind it.  Basically #Dear Me is about what advice you would give to your younger self.  So without further ado, here's mine 

I loved school, I was lucky enough to go to two different boarding schools, an all girls school and then later a mixed school for 3 years, and I loved both.  I had some amazing friends (some of which I'm still friends with now) but I was extremely shy growing up and I had no real self confidence, despite my parents very best efforts and encouragements.  They'd always try to get me involved in activities and groups, ballet and acting, but I was always just too shy to join in and I regret that now so much, having been given all the opportunities but never allowing myself to get involved!  At school I would get picked on at times, because I wasn't one of the 'popular' kids, I didn't listen to the 'right' music or wear the 'right' clothes.  I always wanted to 'fit' in and be like the popular girls, and I would sometimes try and copy the way they dressed or spoke because I thought it would make people want to be friends with me, but of course that didn't work either and I would get picked on for that too!

So the first thing I would tell my younger self, is just to ignore them all, not to feel pressured to try and be like everyone else, to embrace the things that made me different and unique instead of feeling embarrassed and to just be happy and content to be myself.  Instead of wasting my time and energy on being upset about it, I wish I had found the confidence to just be me and if they didn't like it, well that's just too bad!
I would also tell myself to get out there and try things, to get involved and be heard.  Because I was always so shy, I missed out on many things and opportunities and sadly I regret that so much now.

I would also tell myself to work harder, have a goal and work towards it.  I never really knew what I wanted to do after school and so I wish I'd have had more focus in that way, instead of messing around in the back of the class writing secret notes with my best friend!!

Aside from all that I did generally have fun and even though I had a few problems and a severe lack of confidence, I can still look back on many good and happy memories.  It has taken me most of my life to finally gain the confidence I have now and it's not been an easy road.  I still have moments when I feel like I'm back to being a shy quiet little school girl!  But at least now, I've learnt to take my own advice, to finally be myself and be happy about it.

I think nowadays, so many young girls and boys too, watch YouTubers and read blogs (hopefully like this one) and can get the type of advice and encouragement that I wish I'd have had when I was growing up and at school.  So if I can offer just one piece of advice and wisdom to you, it would be -

Feel confident, feel happy and just be yourself, no matter what!
I hope you like this post and in the comments please leave me some of your good advice or say what advice you wish you'd have been given when you were younger :-)

Until Next Time Stay Happy 

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Thursday 19 March 2015

How I Clean My Makeup Brushes, 3 Ways

Hi everyone, for this week's post I thought I'd talk to you through my 3 favourite ways of cleaning my makeup brushes.

The first is the main 'big clean' one that I do.  Now since I only wear makeup and use my brushes about once a week, I tend to only do this method around every 3-4 weeks.

Firstly I take a little bit of shampoo in my hand and mix with a bit of warm water.

Then I just swoosh the brush around in circles in the palm of my hand for a minute

Then I let the warm water run over the brush to rinse it thoroughly, I also rub the ends of the bristles with my fingers under the water, lightly squeezing through to the tips to help get any shampoo out.

Finally after gently squeezing out the water, I dab the brush on a clean dry towel and dry them as best I can.

Usually the brushes take at least 24 hours, sometimes longer to dry (hence why I don't do them every week!)  So what I normally do is take a smaller old towel, roll one end. . .

. . .and then lay my brushes so the handles are up on the roll, this helps air dry them and it helps stop any water getting in the handles at the same time, because if that happens it can loosen the bristles over time, not so great!


The next method I use is so simple and easy, I just put a little Micellar Water on a cotton pad

Take a dirty brush and just gently rub it with the cotton pad

Then just dab it off with a piece of clean tissue and allow it to dry, easy!


The third technique was an idea I had after seeing a video by the lovely Goss (gossmakeupartist) on YouTube last year, about an alternative to the Vera Mona Colour Switch brush cleaner sponges, wow mouthful!

These great sponges come in a little tin and basically all you do is rub the brush around the sponge for a few seconds and it takes off all the old makeup!  But, of course there's a price tag and this method doesn't sanitize your brushes, it only cleans off the makeup for when you may want to use the same brush for various eyeshadow shades for instance, and you need the brush clean quickly without having to wash or spray it in between.

So, for my own 'quick clean' technique, I use these black stippling sponges, I got a pack of two for only £1.53 from Amazon and I keep one in a tin for ease of use.

I swirl the brush around the sponge and voila, clean brush!

After a few uses, I turn the sponge over for more uses and then every-so-often I just wash them with shampoo and rinse when I 'big clean' my brushes, to keep them nice and fresh :-)  If you'd like to see this method in action, go and check out this cool video here showing how it's done.

Please tell me below if you like these ideas and let me know in the comments how you like to clean your brushes or any other tips you'd like to share and until next time, Stay Happy
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Thursday 5 March 2015

My Current Beauty Favourites January - March 2015

Hi everyone, for today's post I thought I'd show you a few of the beauty products that I'm currently loving. . .

To start off with, this Perversion mascara from Urban Decay, I got this in with my Naked on the Run palette recently and I find myself using it all the time.  My favourite mascara (as you may remember because I'm always talking about it), is the Seventeen Doll Lash, which I still love very much, it lengthens my lashes really well and still looks great at the end of a long day, BUT, the Perversion mascara seems to thicken my lashes even more and still lasts really well.  I just love how nice my lashes look when I've used it, so it's fast become my new 'go-to' mascara!

No7 Stay Perfect Foundation - I first got this particular brand of foundation last year in the shade Warm Ivory and even though I used it regularly, I was never 100% happy with it.  It always felt quite heavy and I felt the shade was just a little too dark but as I'd had the digital camera test done to match me with my so-called perfect shade, I thought ok well it must be the right one.  However it wasn't until recently when I went to buy my next bottle, that I told the lady at the No7 counter that I wasn't sure if Warm Ivory was the best colour for me and so she re-did the camera test.  Straight away she said, no your perfect shade is Calico, so that's what I got and wow I am SO much happier with it, it really is the perfect shade for my skin and weirdly enough it doesn't seem to feel as heavy either (maybe it's something to do with that shade or just that bottle, who knows!)

Like everyone on the planet these days, I feel like I'm forever searching for that perfect 'my lips but better' shade of lipstick, but I can honestly say since I bought myself this Soap & Glory Lip Lacquer, which I got in the shade 'Charm Offensive', I feel like I may have actually hit the jackpot!  It is the most perfect rosey/vintage pink type shade that I absolutely love.  I always swore-by Rimmel's Apocolips lacquer in Celestial, which is still one of my all-time favs, especially for the longevity of it but it is slightly more on the yellow/orange side of pink rather than a nice soft rose pink like the Charm Offensive.  I also found that Celestial can look a little thick on my lips which puts me off sometimes, but the Charm Offensive always looks really pretty and natural, and as it's also very long lasting, it's quickly become my new 'lipstick love' :-)  It's a little more on the matt side too, so sometimes I wear it with a gloss over the top, sometimes not but it's nice to have the option.

I also picked up this little wonder on recent visit to Boots, the Max Factor Excess Shimmer cream shadow in the shade Copper.  I first heard about this in Essie Button's Current Drugstore Favourites video and I just thought it looked such a pretty shade and a bit lighter and more shimmery than my old faithful Maybelline Color Tattoo in On & On Bronze.  I couldn't wait to swatch it when I got home and I was really happy to see that the pigmentation was really good, the shimmer was really beautiful and it took a bit of getting off too, so I knew it would last well.  I then used it the following week on my birthday night out and I was really happy with how it looked, just with a little black eyeliner and mascara.  If you like eye-shadows that are long lasting, don't crease and have a nice lot of shimmer, then definitely go and have a look at this one.  The other shades available in the range aren't the best in my opinion, they just don't seem very everyday/usable shades, but maybe that's just me!

I know I've mention this before but oh I just love this gloss, the Tanya Burr Aurora lip gloss, it's just so pretty and wearable.  I love using it alone and over the top of other lip sticks or lacquers.  I would love to invest in some of her other shades but I just never know which ones to go for, there's so many!  I also have Afternoon Tea - which is a really pretty summery peach shade, Heart Skipped A Beat which is lovely and light for those days you just want a very sheer touch of red shimmer and Smile Dream Sparkle which again I go to very often but more to use over the top of other lip colours as it's quite sheer but quite sparkly too.

I have talked about this Garnier Micellar Water several times in the past and if you would like to read my full review on it, you can do there here.  But I just thought I'd mention it again because it's something that I use every single time I take my makeup off and it never fails to impress me by doing such a great job and so effortlessly (especially on my part).  I don't have to rub my eyes or keep going over and over the same areas to remove the makeup, it just lifts off as easy and anything.  There's no nasty chemicals or strong scents, which is certainly something I don't like and it always leaves my skin feeling beautiful and soft and cleansed.  And I can honestly say, especially since I've been using this product for nearly a year now, that my skin has most definitely improved since I've been using it, it's not as oily and I get far less blemishes than I used to!  So a winner all round :-)

So have you tried any of these items, what do think?  Or let me know in the comments below, what current beauty favourites you're loving right now and . . .
Until Next Time Stay Happy

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