Last week I went to The Warehouse to stock up on a few balls of wool and as I was heading to the checkout, I noticed some bags of mini Terrys chocolate orange pieces for only $3 and immediately picked one up as this is one of my favourite chocolates. I really wanted to use them in a blog post, but couldn’t quite decide what to make so I eventually settled on cupcakes as these are one of my absolute favourite things to bake. Let’s get started!
You Will Need:
- 3/4 cup & 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1/4 cup & 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 100g butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- 2 drops red food colouring
- 3 drops yellow food colouring
- 1-2 teaspoons orange essence
What To Do:
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius and line a cupcake tin with paper cases.
- Sift your dry ingredients into a large bowl, then add both sugars and stir well.
- Add the egg, vanilla essence, milk and oil and beat with an electric mixer until combined.
- Pour in the boiling water and mix until just combined. Keep in mind that the mixture will be very runny.
- Transfer the mixture into a large jug and pour into the cupcake cases until they are 3/4 full.
- Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until cooked.
- Remove from the oven and place onto a wire rack to cool.
- To make the icing, place your butter into a large bowl and mix with an electric mixer on a high speed until smooth.
- Add the icing sugar and mix slowly until a smooth icing starts to form.
- Add the orange essence and milk and mix on a high speed until you are happy with the consistency.
- Add in the food colouring and mix well until a solid colour forms.
- Using a star nozzle, pipe the icing into a swirl on the centre of each cooled cupcake.
- Place one piece of Terrys chocolate orange into the centre of the icing.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe and I would love to see your recreations 🙂
On a Sunday afternoon back in 2010, I was flicking through various TV channels looking for something to watch when I stumbled across an episode of Pretty Little Liars. It was about the third or fourth episode of the first season and although I wasn’t entirely sure what was happening on the screen, I absolutely loved the episode and decided that I was going to continue to watch each episode. However, after about a month I ended up missing about 5 episodes and when I finally had time to watch it again, so much had happened in the episodes I had missed and I was so lost, so I ended up not bothering with it. That was until early last year, when TVD was on a break and I wanted to find and new program to watch. I spent a few months watching from the start of season 1 to the middle of season 7 and I was absolutely hooked.
I was quite sad to learn that the last episode of season 7 was the series finale but also waited eagerly to see what would happen to the girls in the final 10 episodes. If you haven’t watched any episodes of Pretty Little Liars, essentially it is about 4 girls called Hanna, Aria, Emily and Spencer who receive threatening text messages from someone under the alias ‘A’ after their friend Alison mysteriously disappears during a sleepover one night. The series follows the girls trying to figure out who could be sending these messages and why they are sending them. It is a series filled with love, death, mystery and countless unanswerable questions.
The series finale aired last Wednesday night in New Zealand and I was both sad and excited to watch the episode. I was excited to find out who the mysterious Uber A would be and what would happen to all the characters but after watching the episode, if I am completely honest, I was left feeling quite confused and slightly disappointed. Although I felt it was a good end to the series and I was really happy with where the girls ended up in the end, there was no shock when the big reveal finally happened and I found that so many questions that had popped up during the series were left unanswered. I later found out that the writers had to change the actor who turned out to be Uber A last minute, as the original actor was unavailable to film the scenes. Even though there were so many questions that hadn’t been answered by the end of the series, I feel that it wouldn’t be Pretty Little Liars without a little mystery.
Until next time,
As it is nearing the middle of Winter here in New Zealand, there is nothing better than cosying up in front of the fire with a good book and a warm cookie straight from the oven. My number one favourite cookie will always be chocolate chip (you can find the recipe here), but over the weekend I was really in the mood for something a bit more chocolate-y. After checking Pinterest for a few ideas, I settled on triple chocolate cookies (because who doesn’t want 3 times the amount of chocolate?!). For these cookies I decided to use a recipe for plain chocolate cookies which I’ve had since my year 7 cooking class, and add in a few handfuls of chocolate chips, so I am not entirely sure where this recipe is orginally from. You all know I like to credit the authors of the recipes that I share with you on this blog so if you know where the orginal recipe is from, please let me know 🙂
Let’s get started!
Note: This recipe makes about 18 biscuits depending on the size that you decide to make them.
You Will Need:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cornflour
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
What To Do:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius and line 2-3 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add in the egg and vanilla essence and beat well until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and cornflour. Gradually add to the wet ingredients, mixing well after each addition.
- Carefully stir in the chocolate chips.
- Roll the mixture into balls and place evenly on the baking trays (make sure to leave enough room around each ball for them to spread).
- Place in the oven and bake for 11 minutes. They should look slightly doughy when taken out of the oven so be sure not to over cook them.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking tray before moving them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
These have quickly become one of my favourite cookies so I will definitely be making them again. I would love to know what you think of them 🙂
Firstly, I want to apologise for being a bit absent over the past few weeks. I was a little bit uninspired for awhile and couldn’t really think of anything to write a blog post about, but I have missed writing for you and am starting to feel inspired again, so hopefully I’ll be blogging more regularly 🙂
I was making a few loaves for my mum a few weeks ago and while looking through other bread recipes, I remembered this bread that my mum first made for me while I was in primary school and knew it would be great to make and share the recipe with you today. My sister and I always called it breakfast bread as we would have it primarily for breakfast, but the real name for it is oatmeal bread. I still call it breakfast bread to this day as the name sort of stuck. I’ve always loved to have this bread warm with jam and never really eat it any other way. Let’s get started!
You Will Need:
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 14g dried yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (extra)
- 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
- 1/2 cup warm milk
- 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 – 4 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1/4 cup rolled oats (extra)
What To Do:
- Line a loaf tin with baking paper and lightly grease with oil if needed.
- Combine oats and water in a small pan, stir over low heat until the water is absorbed and the oats are softened. Place in a large bowl and set aside until lukewarm.
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, add the caster sugar and leave aside for about 5 minutes. Add yeast, milk, brown sugar and salt to the oats. Stir well to combine.
- Add 3 1/2 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, adding remaining flour when neccessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and brush the surface with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for an hour or until well risen.
- Punch down the dough and knead for 1 minute. Divide into two and roll one portion into a rectangle. Roll up loosely and place into the tin.
- Divide the extra dough into 3 pieces and roll each into a sausage 30cm long. Plait and then brush with water.
- Sprinkle with extra oats and place into the tin.Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes or until well risen.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.Place the dough into the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Set aside for 10 minutes before placing onto a wire rack to cool.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe and I would love to see how yours turns out if you decide to make it 🙂
Sorry that it’s been a few weeks since my last post. I was having a bit of trouble trying to upload my posts as everytime I clicked ‘upload’ half of the writing would vanish! Hopefully it’s sorted itself out now as I’ve really missed writing for you all. For today’s post I wanted to share with you, a dress that I have made recently and how you can make it for yourself 🙂 I decided to make this dress as a member of my family is having a party in a few weeks time and I didn’t really have any dresses that were suitable for the event. I wanted something that looked quite dressy but also casual as the party will be held in a pub setting. I decided to go with a classic t-shirt dress as I didn’t actually own any before I made this one and chose to make it with a deep red velvet to give it a more party-like feel. I’m really happy with the outcome of this dress and would love to know what you think 🙂
You Will Need:
- 1.5 metres stretchy velvet (for a size small)
- Thread in a matching colour
- Tape measure
- A t-shirt that fits you comfortably
- Newspaper and a pen
- A sewing machine
What To Do:
- To create your pattern for this dress, lay out your newspaper on a flat surface. Fold your t-shirt in half lengthwise and trace around it onto the paper. Mark the line of the straight edge of the t-shirt ‘fold’.
- Measure from the back of your neck, down to where you would like the dress to end and extend the bottom of the pattern down to ensure it will be the correct length.
- To create the width of the bottom of the dress, wrap the tape measure around both your legs and loosen it until you feel that its wide enough. Divide this measurement by 2 and starting from the bottom of the ‘fold’ line, mark this measurement onto the side of your pattern and draw a straight line from the armpit of your pattern to this mark.
- Trace around one of your sleeves, mark the longest straight line ‘fold’ and cut both pieces of the pattern out. (If you have any trouble figuring out how to create a pattern for this, there are some really great tutorials on YouTube that helped me out alot).
- Using a ruler or tape measure, measure how wide the the body piece of the pattern is and using this measurement as a guide, create a fold in your fabric, pin your pattern onto it (with the ‘fold’ on the folded edge) and cut around it leaving 1-2 cm seam allowance. Repeat this step.
- Fold your remaining fabric in half and repeat the previous step to cut out your sleeves.
- Place your dress pieces right sides together and pin the shoulder seams together. Sew along this line using a zig zag stitch.
- Open up the fabric and lay it flat with the right side facing down. Take one of your sleeve pieces and pin to the open armholem with the wrong side facing up. Repeat on the other side and sew along these lines with a zig zag stitch.
- By now, your dress should be starting to take shape. On one side of the dress, match up the underarm seams and pin in place. Match up the rest of the edges and pin together. Repeat on the other side and sew down these lines with a zig zag stitch.
- Try on your dress and determine if it is the correct length, if it is a big too long, mark the correct length with pins and trim off the excess.
- Fold up all of the raw edges of the sleeves, bottom of the dress and the collar, pin into place and sew around these edges with a straight stitch (this creates a neater finish on the outside of the dress).
I decided to pair this dress with a pair of thick fleece lined tights, black booties and a leather jacket as it is almost Winter here in New Zealand, and I wanted the dress to be the statement piece of this outfit. I hope you enjoyed this diy and I would love to see if you recreate it 🙂
I hope you are having a fantastic week so far, not too much longer until the weekend! For this weeks post I wanted to tell you about my experience seeing Disney’s The Next Step: Live last Friday night. I first watched this show early last year, and although I wasn’t too keen on it at first, before too long I was hooked. Yes, the target audience of this show is probably around ages 7-15 but there is just something the show that appeals to someone of my age. If you haven’t heard of it, essentially it is a fiction documentary about a group of dancers at The Next Step dance studio in Canada who face everyday problems of being a teenager while also dancing in regional, national and even international dance competitions.
Although I am more than a few epsiodes behind on the show itself, I was so excited to hear that they were bringing the show to stages worldwide. I originally planned to get some tickets for my sister for her birthday but at $100+ for one ticket, we decided that the money would be best saved for another day. We were a little disappointed that we weren’t going as there were so many ads on TV showing how big of a performance it was going to be over the following few months, but we couldn’t really justify spending around $200 on a Disney show. So when the middle of April rolled around and we discovered that the tickets had dropped down to half price, we jumped at the chance to get our hands on some. And boy am I glad we did.
Even though there were a few mishaps on the way to the show ie. terrible weather, a late train and one of us sitting in grape juice (so thankful for black jeans), the show itself was incredible and if you ever have the chance to go to one yourself, I would highly suggest it. I wasn’t really sure what to expect as there are quite a few storylines on the show and not too much dancing nowadays but I assumed the show would be dance based, which it was but it had a surprising amount of comedy thrown into the mix. The performance itself was hosted by Disney’s Adam and Ash, who have an afternoon show in Australia and they did a few funny skits along with members of the cast which resulted in laughter around the whole theatre from people of all ages. As for the dancing, it was absolutely incredible. All of the dancers have so much talent and it was amazing to see that they are even more impressive in person.
Overall, I highly recommend going to see this show if you ever have the opportunity and I will not hesitate to go again if they ever find their way back to New Zealand.
Have you seen The Next Step: Live? What did you think of it? 🙂
I hope you have enjoyed the baking posts over the past few weeks, I had alot of fun making them for you (especially tasting the end result!). I thought it was about time I got back into some more lifestyle based blog posts and what better way to start things off than with a post dedicated to my current go to Autumn outfit. I am really obsessed with this outfit at the moment and although it is mostly black, I feel that the pop of colour from the shoes (which you may remember from this post) really brings this outfit together.
I feel like a classic black leather jacket is a wardrobe staple that most people have somewhere in their wardrobe. I recently talked about where I got mine a few weeks ago in this post and I have worn it almost everyday since, I love how versatile it is and it really completes so many of my outfits, I don’t know how I managed to put together outfits without it!
I bought this striped long sleeve top from Dotti for about $13.00 a few weeks ago and as soon as I tried it on, I didn’t want to take it off. I had actually been looking for something similar for about 2 years but never found anything that I really liked, so I was so happy when I saw this hanging on the rack with a half price sign (yay for sales!). I do already own a white long sleeve with black stripes but I really like the classic look of black with white stripes as it’s not so in your face on a dull Autumn or Winter day. There is no doubt in my mind that this top will continue to be one of my favourite purchases of the year.
I like to pair this outfit with a pair of black highwaisted leah jeans that I also got from Dotti earlier in the year for around $40.00. I love these jeans as they are cropped slightly so they are the perfect length for my legs and I’ve found that they’ve kept their colour for much longer than most of my black jeans have. I will continue to buy these jeans as long as Dotti has them in stock because I love them so much.
The shoes I like to wear to add a bit of colour to the outfit are my red boots with gold heels that some of you may remember from last years Autumn outfit post. I find that they really pull the outfit together and add a great focal point (the loud clip clop of the heels on the concrete is also guaranteed to get alot of attention haha). The thing I like most about these boots is that when we are lucky enough to have some sun, the gold tends to catch the light and flickers as I walk. I think these boots may continue to be part of my go to Autumn and Winter outfits as I really like being able to dress in dark colours and really have the shoes do all the talking.
I really hope you enjoyed this blog post! 🙂
Until next time