Spring Cupcakes

As you all know, one of my favourite things to bake are cupcakes, so I thought it was only fitting to make some brightly iced cupakes to celebrate the beginning of Spring. I would love to be one of those people that can pipe beautiful, delicate flowers on the top of their baking creations, but for now the basic swirled icing is the best I can create, which works perfectly fine for me πŸ™‚ Let’s get started!

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You Will Need:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs

For The Icing:

  • 175g Unsalted Butter
  • 350g Icing Sugar
  • Food Colouring of your choice

What To Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celcius. Place cupcake cases in a muffin tray.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Stir together the vanilla and the milk.
  4. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix well after each addition. Alternate the addition of the flour mixture and the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cupcakes spring back when touched.
  7. Allow cupcakes to cool for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. While your cupcakes are cooling, you can begin to make your icing, beat your butter until it’s pale, light and fluffy.
  9. Beat in your icing sugar, followed by a teaspoon or two of boiling water to soften and lighten the texture of the buttercream.
  10. If you are using more than one colour, separate your butter cream into 2 or 3 bowls.
  11. Add a few drops of fooc colouring to each bowl and mix until it forms a solid colour.
  12. Using a piping bag, swirl the icing on top of each cooled cupcake and decorate with cupcake toppings of your choice.

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I hope you enjoy these cupcakes and I would love to see how yours turn out as well πŸ™‚

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Spring Fever

As I am writing this there is less than 2 weeks until the first day of Spring and I am beyond excited. Currently, it is a rainy and cold Monday morning following almost a week of incredible sunny weather. I had such a good weekend, preparing and getting very excited for the warmer seasons to start so I thought I would write about what I did πŸ™‚

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When I woke up on Saturday morning, the sun was out and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky so I thought what better day to visit my local garden centre to find some brightly coloured flowers to plant and help make the garden look a bit more lively. After spending the morning looking at all the beautiful flowers, I picked up six different punnets and then went home to spend the afternoon preparing my planter box for their new home. As I was planting them, the clouds began to cover the sun and I ran out of potting mix, so I still have few flowers left to plant on the next sunny day we get. I love the brightness of the flowers I selected and am very excited to see them grow over the warmer months.

Sunday morning also brought an amazing cloudless sky and warm sun but there was a slight breeze which made it a bit too chilly to be outside without a jumper, reminding me that there is still quite a while to go until Summer. Around 12pm I decided that I wanted to make a homemade pizza for lunch, so my boyfriend and I came up with a list of ingredients that would be required to make the most amazing pizza stacked high with toppings. The toppings we decided on were: chicken cooked in fresh herbs, thick cut bacon, fresh pineapple, tomato, red and green capsicum, red onion and cheese. It looked so bright and delicious and I couldn’t wait to dig in. I was so happy with how it turned out and I will definitely be making it again. I really wanted to take a photo to show you, but I completely forgot about it until we were already eating haha.

As the sun is beginning to shine a lot more and the temperature is starting to rise I have been getting out and about with my Fujifilm Instax camera quite a bit to try and snap some amazing polaroids. I am still trying to figure out the perfect angle to take the photographs from to avoid having a big circle of sun in the edge of each photo but so far I am really happy with how they have turned out. I’m looking forward to snapping some amazing photographs over the next few months. Although I didn’t do all that much the past few days, I really enjoyed getting ready for Spring and it made me really happy to see the sun as this is by far my favourite time of the year and I can’t wait for more sun and more  fun weekends with my friends and family.

What is your favourite thing about Spring? πŸ™‚

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DIY Winter Warmers

Although Winter is drawing to a close here in New Zealand, the first few weeks of Spring are still quite chilly and in countries on the other side of the world, Autumn is only just beginning, which is why this felt like a good time to write about something that I recently discovered. I have seen plenty of these heat packs around, and absolutely love the designs you can buy them in and the amount of warmth they create but I never thought of making some specifically for my pockets to keep my hands toasty until they popped up on my Pinterest feed a few days ago. There are so many different ways to create these DIY heat pads, so get creative and lets get started! πŸ™‚

You Will Need:

  • Fabric of your choice (I chose plaid as it felt quite Autumnal).
  • A Sewing Machine (or a needle and thread).
  • Rice
  • Scissors

What To Do:

  1. Cut the fabric into 5 inch by 5 inch squares or your desired size to fit into your pocket.
  2. Place the right side of 2 squares together and pin in place.
  3. Sew around the edges leaving a 1 inch opening on one side for the filling.
  4. Flip the heat pack inside out and fill 3/4 of it with uncooked rice.
  5. Sew the remaining fabric shut with a sewing machine or a needle and thread.

To Heat:

  • Place in a microwave for a minute or until the desired temperature. Be careful when removing the heating pad from the microwave as it will be very hot.

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I really loved how this turned out, although I didn’t quite realise how hard it would be to photograph haha. I hope you enjoyed this DIY and your hands stay toasty and warm during the colder months! I would love to see how yours turn out πŸ™‚

 

Lemon Drizzle Cake

On Sunday afternoon while I was trying to think of post to write for this week, my mum mentioned that she had a few lemons that needed to be used up. While thinking of some great lemon recipes, I remembered watching one of Tanya Burr’s videos where she made an amazing lemon drizzle cake and decided to give it a try. This recipe can be found in Tanya Bakes here or on Tanya’s YouTube channel here. Let’s get started!

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You Will Need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 170g Self Raising Flour
  • 170g Caster Sugar
  • 170g Butter
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 110g Icing Sugar
  • 2 lemons

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What To Do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius and grease the cake tin of your choice.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, self raising flour, caster sugar, butter and baking powder until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add the zest of 2 lemons to the cake batter and mix well.
  4. Pour the mixture into the greased baking tin and place in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when pressed into the cake.
  5. While the cake is cooking, mix together the icing sugar and juice of 2 lemons to create a runny syrup.
  6. Once the cake has been removed from the oven, while still hot, make several holes all over the cake with a skewer and pour the syrup over the top to soak in.

I am really happy with how this cake turned out and would love to see how yours turn out as well! πŸ™‚

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Pamper Night Essentials

As I write this I am recovering from a bad cold, the rain is pouring down outside and I am in desperate need of my own pamper night. Β For that very reason, I decided to dedicate a post to a few of my favourite pamper night essentials. I would love to know what your favourite products to use are as well πŸ™‚ Let’s get into it!

Face Masks

The first essential that I feel is necessary for a great pamper session is an amazing face mask to soften and moisturise your face. I currently own about 12 masks by the brand Freeman. I really like this brand as they are extremely inexpensive and make my skin feel fantastic after using them. A few of my favourites include:

  • Chocolate and Strawberry Clay Mask
  • Pink Grapefruit Exfoliating Mask
  • Dead Sea Minerals Clay Mask
  • Pineapple Exfoliating Mask
  • Cucumber Peel Off Mask

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DVDs

Another essential that I find makes a pamper night 100% better whether you’re on your own, or with a group of friends is your favourite movies or TV shows. Not only is it a great way to help you unwind at the end of the day but it makes the time go twice as fast while you’re waiting for your nail polish to dry. A few of my favourite DVDs to watch are:

  • Friends
  • The Vampire Diaries
  • Easy A
  • Grease
  • Beauty and The Beast

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Bath and Moisturise

This is definitely a must have for a successful pamper night, a bathΒ is the key to relaxing and it’s also a great way to break into my collection of Lush bathbombs. My favourite kind to use on these kind of nights are usually bath melts because I find that they help your skin feel so smooth. After having a bath I personally like to immediately apply moisturiser as it allows plenty of time to sink in and really soften your skin. My favourite moisturiser to apply after a bath is a scented body butter from The Body Shop as it is really thick and works great on any dry areas you may have.

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Do you prefer pamper night alone, or with a group of friends? πŸ™‚