Sunday, 18 December 2016

White Chocolate Cupcakes

white chocolate cupcakes

A basic and easy vanilla cupcake recipe topped with a white chocolate buttercream icing, which together make the perfect combination. I've also decorated the cupcakes in Christmassy sprinkles and paper! Perfect for those who don't enjoy all of the cinnamon, gingerbread and winter spiced flavoured cakes at this time of year. And of course, these can be made any time throughout the year!

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • 175g or 3/4 cups of butter softened 
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs 
  • 175g (6 oz) caster sugar
  • 175g or 1 1/4 cup of self-raising flour 
Buttercream Icing

  • 110g or 1/2 cup of unsalted butter at room temperature 
  • 250g or 1 3/4 cups of icing sugar 
  • 150g white chocolate 
  • 1 tablespoon of semi skimmed milk (possibly)


 Method:

Cupcakes


    1. Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas 3 and prepare your cupcake cases. 
    2. Put the butter and sugar into a mixer and whizz up until light and fluffy. 
    3. Pour in the vanilla essence and add the eggs - whizz again to make a yellow batter.
    4. Add the flour and mix until it is smooth, about 5/10 minutes. Stop once in the middle of this and scrape the sides down using a spatula. The longer mixing time enables air to get into the mixture which will make it lighter. Pour into fairy or cupcake cases.
    5. Bake for about 14 minutes. Keep an eye on them. They will be perfect when they bounce back to the touch and the top still looks slightly sticky. This will ensure they keep their moisture.
    6. Leave on a cooling rack for 30 minutes or until cool, then decorate as you wish. 

    Buttercream Icing
    1. Beat the butter and half the icing sugar together until smooth (this may take a while and is a bit of a pain). Keep adding the icing sugar in bits and mix until all is smooth and like a paste.
    2. Melt the white chocolate and then add it to the mixture and mix until smooth.
    3. DONE! However, this is the maybe bit . . . depending on what white chocolate you use, it'll alter the runniness of your icing . . . so you may have to add the milk (maybe more than 1 tablespoon) or you may need to add more icing sugar. 
    4. Don't forget to mix your icing between icing each cupcake so it stays smooth!
    You can then decorate your cupcakes as you wish - I have added Christmas sprinkles and cases! 


    I hope you enjoy!
    According To,
    Abi
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    Tuesday, 29 November 2016

    Clarisonic Aria | Chrismas Gift Guide


    Clarisonic - Sonic Radiance Solution 

    A gift on the pricey side but this would be a luxurious gift for those wanting to enhance their skin care regime. I absolutely love the blush pink / rose gold colour of this Clarisonic. 





    The Sonic Radiance solution complete with Aria cleansing device, helps to brighten and even skin tone to reveal a more even, radiant, and youthful-looking complexion.
    The Radiance Aria comes in an exclusive soft pink finish, available only within this set.

    The Aria Clarisonic Cleansing Brush is a great gift for those who love to focus on their skin care. Sleek, powerful and offered with 3 varying levels of sonic speed, you can customize your cleansing experience to address your specific skin concerns.

    Price: £199

    Gift Includes:

    Clarisonic Aria
    AM Skin Illuminating Cleanser (3.4 oz.)
    PM Skin Renewing Peel Wash (3.4 oz.)
    Brightening Activator Serum (0.98 oz.)
    Radiance Brush Head
    Drying Stand
    USB-Enabled Universal Voltage pLink Charger
    Wall Adapter

    Disadvantages:

    Unfortunately this version of the Clarisonic cleansing brush doesn't come with a travel case and will therefore not be useful for those wanting to pack this in their suitcase. There are other versions of the Clarisonic cleansing brush for those wanting a travel case.
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    Sunday, 27 November 2016

    Gym Shark






    So, I have FINALLY signed up to a gym and gotten into keeping fit! After wearing the same pair of gym leggings for the first month of going to the gym (don't worry, I washed them) I thought it was finally time to purchase some new gear.


    I've come across Gym Shark a few times now on Instagram because quite a few of the female fitness accounts that I follow are actually 'brand ambassadors' so to speak for the brand. I was initially quite sceptical as to how nice their clothing products would actually be and the items aren't exactly the cheapest on the market, however Gym Shark offers free UK returns and therefore I thought I'd try a pair of leggings and a top and if I didn't like them I could return them easily. 


    Now...when these arrived it turns out there was absolutely no way that I was going to return these items as I kinda fell in love, haha! I initially described this outfit as 'wearing a hug' to my mum because they're super fitted and stretchy.



    I purchased both the top and the leggings in small and both fit perfectly and I'm normally a size 8/10. One thing to remember is that the material is super stretchy but also tight fitting and therefore it's quite hard guessing whether you'll be a XS, S, M or L - but I guess that's where the free returns comes in handy!


    There are multiple colours available so there's sure to be something right up your street. I think next up I'm going to have to purchase the mint green top and matching leggings!

    Do you have a favourite gym wear brand?

    Talk soon!
    According to,
    Abi
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    Sunday, 20 November 2016

    5 Best Berry Lipsticks | Drugstore

    I'm sure we can all agree that the best accessory for the autumn and winter months is to finish your look with a berry lip. There are so many different shades of a 'berry lip' out there and sometimes it can be hard to choose which one to go with, therefore today I thought I'd share with you my top 5 affordable berry lipsticks/lip glosses!


    1) Rimmel London - Kate Matte Lipstick in '107' - £5.49


     An all time classic loved by many is the Rimmel London 107 lipstick. Available at many drug stores, I picked mine up from Boots for £5.49 - an absolute bargain compared to others that are available. The lipstick has a matte finish however what's lucky is that it's not too drying on the lips. 




    2) Seventeen - Stay Pout Lipstick in 'Rule Breaker' - £4.49

      


    Slightly different from the Rimmel Lipstick, this Seventeen one has more of a purple undertone and also contains Shea butter which provides a smoother texture and finish, and also keeps your lips moisturised. I also picked this lipstick up from Boots and for only £4.49!



    3) Maybelline - Color Drama Lipstick in 'Berry Much' - £4.99 



    In the shape of a chubby pencil, this lipstick is different to apply than the others and personally I find it awkward to continue sharpening and to get a perfect lip outline. However, I love the creamy texture of this lipstick and it is a deep purple berry shade. I also picked this up from Boots for only £4.99.  



    4) Tanya Burr - Lip Gloss in 'Bewitching' 


    I'm personally not always a lip gloss wearer because I'm not a fan of the texture, however I love the shade of this lip colour and it's perfect when you don't want an overly dramatic berry lip. Unfortunately I got this mini lip gloss out of Tanya's 2015 12 Days of Christmas advent calendar which this lip shade was an exclusive of. However, she has also created another berry lip gloss called 'Berry Picking' available for £5.99 in Superdrug and on Feel Unique. 




    5) Max Factor - Lipfinity Long Lasting Lipstick in 'Evermore Lush' - £8.99



    I thought I'd include a subtle berry shade for those less daring and this is personally one of my favourites as it's more versatile for an everyday look. The picture above makes it look like a very pale pink but trust me it's not that light! The swatch is on the top right hand corner on my hand. This is Max Factor's new moisture-replenish lipstick which is infused with lip conditioners and nourishing oils. 

    I picked this up from Superdrug for £8.99.




    I there a berry lipstick that you love and would reccommend? Leave a comment below!

    According To,
    Abi
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    Monday, 14 November 2016

    Winter Layers | OOTD

    My favourite thing about Winter is being able to layer up my outfits for warmth and style; I also love a good turtle neck. Below is one outfit that I have been loving recently - enjoy the OOTD!



    My top is a plain plum coloured roll neck top from Dorothy Perkins, I can't seem to find it anymore on the website but many other shops sell tops similar. This style of top is great at keeping you warm thanks to the high neck - I also love the colour.


    Over the top I am wearing a white knitted jumper: I'm not too sure where I bought this jumper from but the label says 'Gorgeous'.


    Ripped knee jeans aren't great for keeping your knees warm but they look good and that's what's more important, right? These jeans are from Top Shop > Click Here.


    I've added a neutral tan leather bracelet from Micheal Kors. As you can see, there are also side slits on the jumper which results in a peak of colour from my plum top.



    To co-ordinate with my tan bracelet, I'm wearing these heeled boots from Office.


    This outfit can be easily changed with different coloured t-shirts.


    Do you have any tips on layering clothes during winter?

    According To,
    Abi
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    Monday, 31 October 2016

    Mint Oreo Haloween Cupcakes

    Today's baking creation is a minty chocolate cupcake which incorporates mint Oreos. These cupcakes are super yummy but also look perfect for Halloween due to the green and dark brown contrast. The mint Oreos aren't a crucial ingredient to this recipe so therefore if you don't have any don't worry, you can still create the mint chocolate cupcakes!


    Ingredients:

    For the Cupcakes:

    • 50g butter
    • 180g caster sugar
    • 1 egg
    • splash of peppermint extract (this is instead of vanilla extract that you'd normally use)
    • 60g cocoa powder
    • 100g plain flour 
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
    • 50g dark chocolate chips 
    • 160ml milk

    After making the cupcakes, I decided to decorate mine half with chocolate fudge icing and half with green icing, if you want to decorate yours with just one of the following options all you need to do is double to amount of ingredients listed below and leave out the icing that you don't want.

    For the Chocolate Fudge Icing:

    • 125g salted butter, softened 
    • 140g icing sugar 
    • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract 
    • 100g dark chocolate

    For the Green Icing:

    • 140g icing sugar 
    • a few drops of peppermint extract until it's at your desired taste
    • a splash of green food colouring 
    • water (enough to make the mixture to your desired texture) 
    Method:

    1) Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF / GM4. Line the cupcake tray with 12 paper cases.

    2) For the cupcakes, in a bowl cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract, then fold in the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and milk chocolate chips and add the milk to form a smooth batter.

    3) Bake for around 15-20 minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

    4) For the fudge icing: Combine the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir the chocolate through the icing mixture. Once the cupcakes have cooled, using a piping bag or spoon, pipe the icing on top of the cupcake.

    OR/AND

    4) For the green icing: Mix together the icing sugar, peppermint extract and green food colouring in a bowl - gradually add in some water until the icing is at your desired texture.

    5) If you have some mint Oreos, now you can place these on the top! If not, you can decorate the cupcakes further as you wish.

    Happy Halloween! 



    According To,
    Abi
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    Sunday, 23 October 2016

    Summer Heals

    It's getting to that time of year where I've started putting away my summer open toe shoes and begun getting out the boots, however I couldn't do that without giving this pair of heels some credit. I bought these back in May time, took some photos, and never published a blog post!

    New Look High Heels

    These heals are from New Look and were priced £24.99 (bargain!) My favourite thing about these is the detail of the cross over heal strap and gold coloured plate on the heal, aspects like this make the shoe look more expensive than is actually is. This design also comes in 'wide fit' which is particularly handy for someone like me.

    Summer Fashion



    New Look also sell this design of heal in black, therefore if you're not keen on the pinky nude colour but you like the design, i'd go and check those out!

    According to,
    Abi
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