Saturday, 8 August 2020

Carrot Topped "Dirt" Chocolate Muffins

Carrot Topped "Dirt" Chocolate Muffin Recipe
Chocolate Muffins Recipe
Baking is one of my favourite ways to unwind and relax, so over the last few months I have turned my hand to perfecting the crusty baguette, baking moist lemon loaves as well as creating the perfect biscuit snap. One of the bakes I've been most proud of are the deliciously moorish chocolate muffins that I'm going to talk about today. They've been designed to look like they're carrots peeking out of the soil - a perfect snack for those who love gardening or have an allotment. 

The chocolate muffin is soft and moist, in fact it may be my favourite recipe yet. For the topping, I swapped out the traditional buttercream icing in favour of a light layer of Nutella which makes the cake taste rich and works as 'glue' for the soil topping. For the dirt element, I crushed up Oreo's and stuck pre-made carrots made of icing out of the sponge. I think these would be easy to recreate with ready to roll paste icing or even using a strawberry covered in orange melts. 
Chocolate Carrot Muffin Cupcake Recipe

Ingredients (Makes 6muffins) - 

125g Self-Raising Flour
20g Cocoa Powder
1tsp Baking Powder
80g Golden Caster Sugar
80g Butter 
1 Egg
90ml Milk of Choice
Crushed Oreos (around 6)
Carrot decoration 

Method - 

Preheat the oven until 180c. 

In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add to the egg and a milk to the mixture and stir until smooth. 

Once mixed, add the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Stir until smooth, but be careful not to over-mix too much. 

Spoon out the mixture into cases in a cupcake tin. Place in the oven for 25 minutes or until cooked all the way through. 

Immediately remove the muffins from your cupcake tin to allow to fully cool. 

In a bowl, separate your Oreos into two, scraping the white middle icing out with a knife. This isn't necessary if you don't mind white speckles in your "soil". Crush the Oreos with the end of a rolling pin. 

Once cooled, lightly cover the top of your muffins with Nutella. Press the crushed Oreos into the top of your muffins until fully covered. Add your carrot decorations and serve! 

Did you enjoy this fun, yet tasty recipe? 

Thursday, 6 August 2020

I Got To 50k On Tik Tok in 2 Months and Here's How...

How I got Tik Tok followers

Ahh Tik Tok... the app that I and many others refused to download despite the hype. One evening in March I decided to give in and I downloaded it purely to just be a voyeur, liking funny videos of animals and getting to grips with the Tik Tok dances. Then I stumbled upon a different side; a cosy, lighthearted and comforting side of Tik Tok and there I found my niche. I knew almost instantly that I had been missing out, so one day I decided to experiment with editing and I've never looked back. After multiple "semi-viral" videos later... I reached 10k then suddenly I blinked and I was at 50k! The milestones kept getting closer and closer, so I think it's safe to say it's been a success and if you're here because of the title, then you'll want to see just how I did it. 

You'll Find A Niche | If you're not looking to grow on Tik Tok, then I would recommend uploading whatever content you enjoy doing. Have a play around with dancing, haul videos and makeup looks, but if you want to take it a little more serious, have a think about what you enjoy watching then go from there. For me, as I said I enjoy watching cosy day at home style vlogs as well as houseplants and baking. Seeing as I hadn't seen anybody do what I had in mind, I decided to give it a go. Several videos of mine now have over 300k views, so I think sometimes it can be hard to sway away from content that obviously works for your audience, but if you're enjoying it, the views will come. 

"It's important to enjoy your own content and have fun. Becoming authentic is key." 

Engage In Similar Content | I found out quickly that my for you page consisted of videos that I'd searched for, commented on or previously liked. Although sometimes they get it way off, showing me some questionable videos, I found that the more I engaged with the content I liked, the more creators I found that resonated with me. This is a great way to find inspiration for your own videos, find out what's trending and what is popular with an audience that would be similar to yours. 
How I got 50k Tik Tok followers

"Switching to a pro account was one of the best decisions. It meant I could find out more about my audience in one click." 

Comment and Like | Leading on from my other point, commenting on creators videos means that their viewers may like your comment, finding your account that way. It goes without saying that if you aren't genuinely commenting, it'll appear fake and come across in a bad way, so just make it a goal to comment on each video you've enjoyed - the creator will love it which is a plus too! 

Switch To A Pro Account | Switching to a pro account was one of the best things I did because it meant that I could look at what my audience liked and enjoyed. These were things like what time they're on the app, where in the world they are from and also what music they've been enjoying. From there, you can tailor your posting times and days, personally I find posting at least once or twice a day is best for engagement and views. 

Use Hashtags | This is a controversial one because hashtags don't do much when you look at your insights, however if your video does go viral you will be kicking yourself that you didn't add that hashtags. Try and hashtags specifically for your videos, tagging what you would personally search to find a similar video. If you're lucky enough that your content gets attention, when people search for that hashtags your videos will pop up first - I've found a lot of my favourite accounts that way. 

Have you got Tik Tok? Do you enjoy the app? 

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

A Huge Affordable Amazon Haul

Amazon Haul 2020
Amazon Under £10 Haul

- All links in this blog post are affiliate links. For more info head to my disclaimer. - 

Over the lockdown period, my Amazon wishlist has grown quite a bit, from arts and crafts kits, books to read and plant pots for my new houseplants additions. Over the last week I made quite a big Amazon order, finding some gems that I thought would be interesting to share. 

First up I have the Beeswax Candle Making Kit that was inspired by a Tik Tok video I'd watched and it looked like fun. Alas I concerned I would be taken back to the times when I'd get a candle DIY kit for Christmas only for it to be absolute chaos of hot wax and wicks. I've already given this a go and I can confirm that it's a lot less messy as no heat is involved, you just use the warmth of your fingers to mould the beeswax sheet into the shape you want - a perfect afternoon activity. 

Another craft kit I bought was an Embroidering Kit and within 24 hours I'd not only completed it, but found a new hobby for sure. I shared the results on my Instagram stories, but honestly it was so helpful to have something easy to practice on, so I can try out new stitching techniques. I might by myself a couple more before attempting to do a design of my own on a tote bag. 

"I managed to learn four new stitches and finish my embroidering kit in 24 hours - It was a success!"

I've been experiencing with nail art throughout lockdown and thought I'd try something completely different - nail stickers. I added these Summer Dried Flowers Stickers to my basket first as I thought they'd be perfect for the next few weeks paired with a nude polish, but I couldn't resist the Autumn Leaves version too. 

I have to mention my Dash Pumpkin Waffle Maker, which I've never had go many questions about after sharing it across my social media. I've already used it quite a lot since I got it a fair few weeks ago, but I can imagine this is going to be a staple breakfast favourite come Autumn too. 
Amazon Arts and Crafts Haul
I'm very aware that we're in August still, but I couldn't help buying something from my wishlist and it was this Pumpkin Shaped Cookie Cutter. I have plans to make some cinnamon biscuits as soon as September hits and I thought this would be handy to have in my kitchen drawer for when the time comes around. 

A couple of weeks ago, my old phone case cut my hand and I realised that it was about time I got a new one. I've been after one similar to the Galaxy Planet iPhone Case for some time and this one is perfect. It's sturdy, comes with a screen protector and looks great too. 

After delving into my makeup bag and realising I'd had my beauty sponge for far too long, I thought it was about time I picked up a new one. I've had the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge before and it was a no brainer to pick another one considering how trusty they are. 

I also picked up some more Epsom Salts because I wanted to make my own lavender bath soak with the dried flowers I'd got from going to the lavender fields. It worked perfectly and these epsom salts are a great option as you get 1kg for under £5. 

What are your Amazon favourites? 

Saturday, 1 August 2020

5 Things I've Added To My August To-Do List

Out of all the months in Summer, August has to be my favourite. The days are long, the scent of BBQ's fill the air and everyone seems in a chipper mood. Although the world is full of worry at the moment, I want to put some extra effort into taking care of my mental health, putting together a to-do list of positive activities to do throughout this month, keeping myself focused when needs be. 

Get Crafty | I recently did an order for some craft kits, so I could turn my hand to making my own beeswax candles as well as learning embroidery. I've been meaning to do this for a while, but never got around to ordering before I was inspired by scouring Pinterest. I'm going to enjoy the warm weather outside, sit in the shade with a podcast and get crafty! 

Go To A Sunflower Field | We went to the local lavender fields this month and it was my first 'proper' day out since early this year and as it was super organised I've decided to head back there mid August to have a walk around their sunflowers too. 

Keep An Eye Out For Blackberries | On my daily walks, I've been noticing the blackberry bushes getting fuller and although I won't be picking any, I just love watching them grow week by week. On top of that, I've been on a look out for an apple orchard as I haven't managed to get to a fruit picking farm this year, but would like a wander nevertheless. 

Prepare For Autumn | I know what you're thinking - Lily we're in a middle of a heatwave and it's August? I just can't help but get excited for my favourite season and as it's been a pretty poor year so far, I decided that on September 1st I'm just going to embrace it. I've got lots of plans for Autumn, transforming our home to a cosy wonderland, as well as taking crunchy leaf photos, baking lots of tasty treats and putting together some Halloween outfits too.  

Watch The Sunset | I watch the sunset regularly, admiring the changing colours of the sky, the dreamy pinks and vibrant orange being a highlight of the Summer. I want to watch the sunset from a different point of view, making it my mission to travel to a high hill and watch as the sun goes down across the land. It's the little joys I'm taking pride in for the rest of the Summer. 

What's on your August to-do list? 
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