Smarties Cake

Smarties Cake

Ingredients

  • 200g butter
  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs , beaten
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • Smarties to decorate
  • FOR THE ICING
  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 100ml double cream , not fridge-cold
  • 50g+ icing sugar

Method

  • Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and line a 20cm cake tin.
  • Gently melt the butter, chocolate, sugar and 100ml hot water together in a large saucepan, stirring occasionally, then set aside to cool a little while you weigh the other ingredients.
  • Stir the beaten eggs into the chocolate mixture. Put the flour into a large mixing bowl, then stir in the chocolate mix until smooth.
  • Spoon into cake tin until just over three-quarters full (you may have a little mixture leftover), then set aside for 5 mins before putting on a high shelf in the oven and baking for 30-35 mins. Leave to cool.
  • For the icing, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Once melted, turn off the heat, stir in the double cream and sift in the icing sugar. Allow to cool to a thick consistency then pour over the cake and decorate with smarties.
  • Put the cake into the fridge for 10 mins until icing has set.
  • and ENJOY 🙂 it can be kept in the fridge for 1 week if it lasts that long 😉

 

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Travel Essentials

Travel Essentials

One of my favourite things about travelling is preparing for the journey and to do that you NEED essentials, wether it’s a plane, train or car journey, all of these essentials will certainly help you. Speaking from experience I always use everything I pack, but that’s probably just because I’m a real germ-ophobe, hahaha.

1. Hand gel & hand cream
2. face wipes
3. deodrant/body spray
4. small notebook & pen
5. pain killers
6. minimal makeup (concealer, powder, mascara and one brush)
7. sunglasses
8. headphones
9. important documents (if you need them)
10. passport (if you need it)
11. mints
12. chewing gum
13. snacks
14. camera
15. selfie stick

These are just a few of my essentials that I might take for a journey to make it more bareable, you can add or take away your own things as you please.

Free Blogging Platforms

Free Blogging Platforms

WordPress
WordPress.com is a hosted version of WordPress. This means that instead of having to download the software and install it yourself, all you need to do is sign up for an account at WordPress.com, and you can start blogging in a matter of minutes.
Blogger

Blogger is one of the oldest blogging platforms out there. Currently, it’s run by Google, so all you need to sign up is your standard Google account. Similarly to WordPress.com, Blogger takes care of all the technical heavy lifting, allowing you to just focus on creating content.

Tumblr

Tumblr is a microblogging and social networking website founded by David Karp in 2007, and owned by Oath Inc. The service allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. Users can follow other users’ blogs.

Webly
Weebly makes it surprisingly easy to create a high-quality website, blog or online store. Over 40 million people use Weebly to bring their unique ideas to life.

Wix
Wix.com is a cloud-based web development platform that was first developed and popularized by the Israeli company also called Wix. It allows users to create HTML5 web sites and mobile sites through the use of online drag and drop tools.

7 Ways To De-Stress

7 Ways To De-Stress

Stressing out can be really irritating to many people and many people stress over little things for no reason, people can have many reasons why they may stress themselves out, but the trick is to just distract yourself from the stress that you’re feeling, below are some useful ways to help you de-stress yourself, obviously these are just a handful of the ones I have chosen out of the ways I came up with.

 

Meditate
Meditation can be a great way to relax, especially if you are under a lot of stress. Research has shown that meditation can be helpful in lowering heart rate and blood pressure, and even improving cognitive performance.

 

Drink Green Tea
Green tea is very soothing—it contains theanine, an amino acid that gives flavor to green tea and also promotes relaxation. It is also thought that theanine is a caffeine antagonist, meaning it counters the stimulating effects of caffeine. So, drink green tea, and avoid caffeinated beverages, since caffeine can worsen the stress response.

 

Eat Mood-Boosting Foods
Many of us crave indulgent carbohydrates like cookies, candy, ice cream, pretzels, and other sweet and starchy foods when we’re stressed, anxious, or tense. These foods can have a soothing effect in some women, and it may have something to do with low serotonin levels during these mood states. Serotonin is a brain chemical responsible for feelings of calmness and relaxation.

 

Listen to Music
Listening to soothing music can be very relaxing—and slow tempos in particular can induce a calm state of mind. (It can also slow down breathing and heart rate, lower blood pressure, and relax tense muscles too). This can be particularly beneficial when you’re getting ready for a tough day at work, or if you’re in your car stuck in traffic, or, if you’re lying in bed trying to free your mind of stressful thoughts.

 

Get a Massage
Getting a massage is a great way to free yourself of tension and relax, and adding aromatherapy oils such as chamomile or lavender can be particularly beneficial: one recent study found that emergency room nurses experienced reduced stress levels with aromatherapy massage: The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing, found that 54 percent of the emergency room staff in summer and 65 percent in winter suffered moderate to extreme anxiety.

 

Have a Hot Bath
Heat relaxes muscles—and taking a long bath can be soothing for the mind as well. Stock up on your favorite bath salts and soaps, get a bath pillow, and decorate the room with candles.

 

 

Exercise Daily
Exercise helps to boost endorphins and reduce stress—and research shows that 20 minutes each day is all that is needed to experience benefits.

 

I hope these ways will help you at least ease your mind and keep you less stressed, if you want more ways, I am sure there are loads on the internet, besides you can find anything on the internet these days!!

 

 

 

1950s Inspired Fashion: Women

1950s Inspired Fashion: Women

In many ways, the 1950s took a big step back, especially for women. During World War II while the men were away, women began to gain an independence that was rare before the war. They left their homes to work in offices and factories, earning and managing their own money. Clothing was heavily restricted throughout and just after the war. Everything from the length of skirts to the size of collars was regulated. This resulted in a slim, straight silhouette. Women wore comfortable clothing like suits and shirtdresses, and even began to regularly wear pants, especially to work. They had to ‘make do and mend,’ buying or sewing well-made clothing that had to last and fixing garments that were past their prime. Learn more about 1940s women’s fashions.

 

1953, Dior’s New Look sillhouettes

In 1947 Christian Dior permanently changed the fashion industry, as well as created the look that would dominate the next decade. Dubbed the ‘New Look’ by Harper’s Bazaar editor Carmel Snow, Dior’s first fashion collection, shown in Paris, were the exact opposite of the ‘40s look. The fabric was luxurious and voluminous. Shoulders were soft instead of squared, the figure was hourglass instead of boxy, and the short, straight skirt of the ration-happy ‘40s was replaced by a huge, billowing one that hit at mid-calf. There were also skirts that were so slim and fitted it was hard to walk. Bodices were extremely tight, accentuating a tiny waist.
The whole look was reminiscent of the mid-nineteenth century. To achieve the look women had to once again squeeze into some serious undergarments. A boned corset achieved the ‘wasp waist,’ and bust and hip pads completed the hourglass figure.

 

1959 House dress by Lane Bryant, plus size designer

Many women were outraged, especially in the United States. Protests were held targeting Dior and his new clothing. Women had just gained a large amount of equality and weren’t ready to give it up- both in work and in fashion. The new clothes used excessive amounts of fabric, needed constant maintenance, and required a complete coordinated accessory collection to be “perfect.” However, after the hardships of the war, everybody was ready for a change, and by the start of the ‘50s, everybody was wearing the New Look.

 

 

1952 matching shoes and purse (and belt, hat, gloves and jewelry) was desired.

As men returned home from the war, women also returned to the home as wives, mothers and homemakers. There was a migration to newly-built suburbs where life was supposed to be picture-perfect and traditional. Society became very conservative and there was a rise in affluence. Racism and anti-communism were rampant. There was an air of conformity – everyone wanted to act and look ‘normal.’

 

 

The perfect 1950s family

The man was the breadwinner, the woman the feminine ‘happy housewife.’ Instead of scrimping and saving, women began to spend a lot of money on getting dressed. Their appearance was linked to their husband’s success. Even if she was not wealthy, looking the part, became an obsessive occupation. Radio, TV, and magazines reminded women daily of their desire to be beautiful for their husbands.

 

The New Look

The full look of the 1950s was mature, glamorous and very put-together. Dresses, skirts and undergarments were constricting, but a wide range of new ‘leisure clothes’ allowed people to dress casually at home. Women were expected to be impeccably dressed and groomed in public or when their spouse was home, always with coordinating hats, shoes, bags, belts, gloves and jewelry. In privacy women dresses much simpler, more comfortable. Eventually these casual fashions became public clothing as well.

 

 

1954 Women’s casual, sporty clothes

 

1950s mne’s fashion suits were conservative yet less restrictive than previous years.

Men wore serious, somber business suits at their newly created office jobs, and leisure suits or slacks on weekends. Shoulders were broad and jackets were boxy. They were also expected to be well-groomed and put together, suits and pants perfectly pressed.
Paris, cut off from the world during the war, once again became the center of fashion. Designers held fashion shows twice a year, and the U.S. and Britain often bought the rights to copy the garments (or simply stole the designs) and churned out cheaper versions to be sold in department stores.

 

1952 Aldens catalogs had the latest fashions at affordable mass produced prices.

Fashion magazines like Vogue and Women’s Wear Daily, mail order catalogs had a sharp increase in product advertising brought designer fashions into every home. Thanks to the war efforts, the U.S. had made huge advancements in mass production techniques, and used them to create new ‘ready to wear’ clothing. Everyone was able to wear the latest fashions.
Designers, led by Dior, started contracting out the manufacture of some clothing and a wide range of accessories that were stamped with their labels. Everything from perfume to gloves, hats, bags and ties were ‘branded’ by the designers. This practice is widespread today, as you can see by visiting any department store, but was a new idea in the ‘50s. Dior also set up boutiques all over the world – another novel idea that is the norm in fashion today.
Fabrics were often luxurious, especially for eveningwear. Velvet, tulle, silk and satin were popular. Cotton and wool were often used for daywear, along with new synthetic fabrics. Polyester and rayon were used to make all kinds of clothing, from blouses and men’s shirts to dresses and suits.

 

1953 casual denim and cotton prints for home sewing

 

1958 panty girdles, bras, and garters

Nylon and elastic, conserved for the war effort, began to be used for a wide variety of clothing, especially undergarments. These fabrics were made into delicate underwear, nightgowns and stockings. Nylon did such a good job of replacing silk stockings that they’ve been known ever since as simply ‘nylons.’
These new synthetic fabrics were seen as ‘miracle fabrics.’ They could be washed and dried easily, didn’t need to be ironed and didn’t shrink.

 

 

 

 

 Chanel style clothing of 1958

Few designers chose to break from the New Look model, but a couple paved the way. Coco Chanel hated the New Look so much that she reopened her business after closing it at the start of the war. In 1954 she came back with slim suits – the brand’s signature look – in wools and tweeds. Jackets were boxy with no collar, and skirts were straight and comfortable. She topped the look off with costume jewelry and the famous quilted bag.
Hubert de Givenchy unveiled his ‘sack dress’ in 1957. It was completely loose, taking the emphasis away from the waist entirely. It was to be the inspiration for the iconic tunic dresses of the 1960s.
The conformity of the ‘50s eventually backfired. Young people everywhere grew cynical, and the happy housewives started to feel trapped (there was a dramatic rise in the use of sedatives and anti-depressants during the ‘50s).

 

The 1960s: More pants, looser tops, shorter skirts. Freedom in moderation.

The New Look lasted throughout the 1950s, but the high-maintenance lifestyle eventually gave way to the rebellious culture in the ‘60s. Teenagers wanted to be individuals who didn’t look like their parents, and their mothers were ready to break free again. Fads were short-lived and garments were cheaply made. Clothing wasn’t constrictive anymore, and was looser and much shorter. The flowing hippie look and the graphic mini-skirt gave women both choices and a way to express themselves.

Alvin & The Chipmunks: FILM REVIEW

Alvin & The Chipmunks: FILM REVIEW

After the tree they called home is cut down and shipped to Los Angeles, talking chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore find a new home with songwriter Dave Seville (Jason Lee). Despite a rocky start to this new arrangement, Dave eventually discovers that the spunky critters have rare singing talent. When the three perform in front of record executive Ian Hawke (David Cross), he immediately signs them. Although the infectious group rapidly gains in popularity, their loyalty is soon tested.

Alvin and The Chipmunks is such a funny film, the humour is just so funny and the storyline is unlike anything that I have seen before, the acting is great too (and the chipmunks voices.) I would literally recommend this to anyone who wants to watch a great family film, definitely suitable for all ages, young and the old, just a great film all together.

Avoiding Procrastinating

Avoiding Procrastinating

To procrastinate is when you put off things that you should be focusing on right now, usually in favour of doing something that is more enjoyable or that you’re more comfortable doing.

 

Step 1: Recognize That You’re Procrastinating
If you’re honest with yourself, you probably know when you’re procrastinating.

Step 2: Work Out WHY You’re Procrastinating
This can depend on both you and the task. But it’s important to understand which of the two is relevant in a given situation, so that you can select the best approach for overcoming your reluctance to get going.

Step 3: Adopt Anti-Procrastination Strategies
Procrastination is a habit – a deeply ingrained pattern of behaviour. That means that you won’t just break it overnight. Habits only stop being habits when you have persistently stopped practicing them, so use as many approaches as possible to maximize your chances of beating them.

Other tips:

  • Make up your own rewards. For example, promise yourself a piece of tasty flapjack at lunchtime if you’ve completed a certain task. And make sure you notice how good it feels to finish things!
  • Ask someone else to check up on you. Peer pressure works! This is the principle behind slimming and other self-help groups, and it is widely recognized as a highly effective approach.
  • Identify the unpleasant consequences of NOT doing the task.
  • Filling your day with low priority tasks from your To Do List.
  • Reading e-mails several times without starting work on them or deciding what you’re going to do with them.
  • Sitting down to start a high-priority task, and almost immediately going off to make a cup of coffee.

I hope these help you to stop procrastinating 🙂

 

Source: Mind Tools