Wednesday, 25 May 2022

A Classic Victoria Sponge Recipe

Victoria sponge cake recipe

Victoria sponge cake recipe

If there's a cake I can never say no to, it's a classic Victoria sponge. I just adore the airy sponge mixed with the tart jam and sweet buttercream icing. It's the perfect accompaniment for a Summer picnic or an afternoon tea. I've baked quite a few Victoria sponges in my time, but I thought it was about time that I shared my recipe. If you'd like to see the cake in action, I've shared the process on my Instagram

Although I opt for buttercream and strawberry jam in the middle, you can always swap that out for a different flavour jam or whipped cream if you'd prefer. I adapted this recipe for the BBC Good Food recipe that I discovered several years ago, but in my opinion have made it better. This makes around 8-10 slices depending on how generous you're feeling and if you'd like a taller, thicker cake then you can always double the ingredients and bake for twice the time. 

Ingredients

For Sponge:

200g Self-Raising Flour

200g Butter

200g Caster Sugar

4 Eggs

1tsp Vanilla Extract

1 Tsp Baking Powder 

For the filling:

90g Butter

140g Icing Sugar

1tsp Vanilla Extract

Strawberry Jam 


Method

Preheat the oven to 180c. Line two round cake tins and grease the sides. 

Cream together the butter and sugar until light. 

Gradually beat in one egg at a time into the mixture. 

Add in your vanilla extract. 

Slowly add in your self-raising flour and baking powder and mix until smooth. 

Separate the mixture into two. Pour the mixture into two round cake tins. 

Bake for 40 minutes until cooked. 

Leave to cool on cooling rack. 


Beat together your icing sugar and butter before adding in your vanilla extract. 

Place the mixture onto one half of the cake. 

Once spread evenly, do the same with the strawberry jam. 

Add the other half of the cake to the top and sprinkle with icing sugar and strawberries.

Serve and enjoy! 

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Thursday, 21 April 2022

Cottagecore Dresses Under £100

Affordable Cottagecore Dresses Under £100

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

The 'cottagecore' aesthetic is a type of style that has quickly become a favourite of mine over the past couple of years. It concentrates on soft fabrics, delicate prints and comfortable styles. I know narrowing down the best dresses on the market can be hard to do, so I've selected some of my favourite pieces that are under £100. 

The gingham print is a staple in cottagecore and even if you're not into the aesthetic yourself, I think it's a favourite of many especially in the Summer time. This River Island Green Gingham Maxi Dress is probably one of my favourite budget finds as the tie waist and shoulders really add a cute feel to the dress. 

If gingham isn't your thing, then floral prints may be. There's so many gorgeous pieces at the moment it was hard to narrow it down to my favourites. This Oasis Floral Bodice Pleated Dress is absolutely beautiful and I can totally see myself wearing it on a Summer's day. This Miss Selfridge Shirred Ditsy Dress is so pretty as I love this sage green shade for the Spring months. 

As soon as I spotted this Hollister Floral Midi Dress I knew that I had to share it because I think if you're into the cottagecore aesthetic, you'll absolutely love this. If you're looking for a something similar but in a mini style, then I stumbled across this River Island Broderie one which I think would love great. 

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Friday, 1 April 2022

FOREO BEAR Mini Review




- This is a paid collaboration with FOREO. All links are affiliate links. - 

At the end of February, I wrote about my first impressions on the FOREO BEAR mini device and after six weeks of use, I thought it was about time that I gave my updated thoughts. I had high hopes for this pocket sized device, so if you're looking to invest, then I would recommend reading on. 

One of the biggest benefits I've seen from using the FOREO BEAR Mini device is that after using it, my face feels so much more relaxed and looks smoother. This is due to the t-sonic pulsations which exercise the 65+ muscles in the face and help to ease facial tension. It felt like I was giving myself a face massage every night before bed and when I woke up the next morning, my face looked less puffy overall and my facial strain was diminished. 

As you have to use the FOREO BEAR device with a conductive serum, gel or cream, I was a little worried that the FOREO Serum Serum Serum wouldn't work well with my skin type, but actually I love this product even on it's own. It doesn't leave a greasy residue and makes my skin feel smooth, especially if used before makeup. 

An issue I hoped that the FOREO would help with was a few fine lines on my forehead along with a deep one on my eyebrow. They've cropped up from straining my face especially when looking at a screen and I couldn't believe that after just a couple of uses, I felt like they were beginning to look less noticeable. I especially enjoyed using the FOREO device before heading out in the evening, as this was when the results were most noticeable and my general appearance of my skin looked smoother and more radiant. 

Using the FOREO app with the device made it very easy to use as you can control the microcurrent intensities from your phone as well as it allowing you to start, stop and pause your treatment in one click. I was initially hesitant that I would feel like my skin was getting an electric shock, but aside from a slight tingle after my massage, the anti-shock sensors always made sure that the device was safe to use. 

Obviously at £179 it's definitely an investment product, but it feels so easy to use, so I reach for it more regularly. If you think it'll replace facials or massagers, then I think it'd work perfectly in your routine as it offers similar results in less time. FOREO offer a two year warranty and as there are no parts to replace, you will not come into an future costs with the device. 



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Wednesday, 30 March 2022

Bridgerton Inspired Outfit Ideas

Bridgerton Inspired Outfits

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

If you're anything like me, you've probably just binge watched the entire second season of Bridgerton and you're already eagerly awaiting the next one. Inspired by the Spring scenery and beautiful outfits, I thought I would compile a list of my favourite Bridgerton inspired outfits, but you must make haste as I can imagine they'll sell out quickly. 

Stradivarius have recently come out with a full Bridgerton collection, full of empire waistlines and corsets. This Floral Short Dress is perfect for the upcoming warmer months, but I think it's their Embroidered Midi Dress that I'm loving even more as the tie shoulders are a great detail. If dresses aren't your forte, but you're into the Bridgerton aesthetic then I would check out their Embroidered Corset Top as I love the little floral details and how cute it would look all dressed up. 

This New Look Shirred Frill Dress is perfect if you're looking for a new Spring frock inspired by the TV show, but still want something that is super wearable day to day. They come in a variety of colours, but I think the pink is the most perfect for the upcoming season. If you're looking for a similar dress, but in a midi style then I would recommend checking out this Hollister Floral Midi option as it's delicate in design... perfect for promenading! 

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Thursday, 24 March 2022

The Best Easy Scone Recipe

Easy Classic Scone Recipe
Easy Classic Scone Recipe

A classic scone is a staple in the Spring for me, especially served with jam and clotted cream on a sunny afternoon. They're super easy to make, so if you haven't made them before, I would highly recommend giving them a try this season. 

I adapted my recipe from BBC Good Food, but I felt like I could do better and I think I've got them just right in terms of how fluffy and light they taste, whilst rising the perfect amount and being incredibly moorish. Once baked, all you'll be tasked with is to decide whether you're team jam before cream or cream before jam! 

Ingredients (Makes 8)

340g Self Raising Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
3 tbsp Caster Sugar
90g Cold Butter
170ml Milk
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Salt
Egg or milk to glaze

Method 

Preheat your oven to 220c and line a baking tray with parchment paper. 

Start off by mixing together the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar in a bowl. With cold hands, add in the butter and rub together until you start to see a breadcrumb texture. Cold hands stops the butter from melting. 

Heat your milk until warm. You want to make sure you can still put your finger in it. Then add the lemon juice and stir. 

Pour the milk into the flour and butter mixture and stir until a dough forms. 

Sprinkle your countertop with flour and tip out your dough. Gently knead for a minute and pat down until your dough is around 5cm in thickness. 

With a 5cm - 7cm cutter (depends how big you want them!). Press your cutter into the dough and place your scone on your baking tray. 

Repeat until you've used up all of the dough. Give your scone an egg or milk wash before baking.

Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. 

Eat warm with jam and clotted cream. Enjoy! 


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Monday, 14 March 2022

3 Easy Home Updates To Make This Spring

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

As soon as March rolls around, I officially get in the mood for Spring. I crave brighter days, fresh flowers and pastel tones, so it's no wonder that whilst my wardrobe gets a bit of an overhaul, so does my home. I never change that much, but I bring out my cushion covers from the previous Spring and swap around my chunkier blankets for my lighter throws. Here are three ways to spruce up your living space for Spring. 

Fresh Bedding 

One of the first things I change when a new season rolls around, is my bedding. I'm not sure why, but when I go into the bedroom and I see that it's looking bright and fresh, it automatically makes me feel better. I currently have the La Redoute Spotted Duvet Cover on my bed which has been a favourite for several years now and despite a lot of wear, it's still in amazing condition. That being said, I am looking to treat myself to another fresh set as I would like something similar to swap these out with more regularly. I really like the look of the H&M Frill-trimmed Set, but it's their Linen Cover Set that I always come back to. 

Floral Details

As you probably know, I go through the motion of different aesthetics as the year goes by. As much as I love the cosy, warm tones of Autumn and Winter, by March I am very ready to swap these out for some brighter accents. Floral details are the perfect way to bring the outside in, so I often make sure to give my houseplants some extra TLC and treat myself to some flowers every now and again. 

There's also some pretty floral pieces to have around the home. I thought this Anthropologie Honey Pot looked unnecessary, but still a cute accessory to have in the kitchen. Although I don't need anymore mugs, this Floral Monogram Mug is great if you're looking for a gift for yourself or a loved one this Spring. 

 

Soft Furnishings 

I'm somebody who likes to switch out their soft furnishings between seasons. I keep my dark, rust shades for Autumn and Winter, then pull out my pastel pinks for Spring and Summer. This makes my area feel like it completely changes and as I tend to opt for the same cushion inserts, the covers can be easily folded and tucked away. After a few mishaps with washing, I'm now looking for a couple of cushion replacements. The H&M Floral Cushion Cover is high up on my list as well as getting a pink version of my white Frill-Trimmed Cushion for my living room. 

 

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Thursday, 3 March 2022

Three First Signs of Spring

Snowdrops English countryside spring flowers

Snowdrops English countryside spring flowers

Snowdrops English countryside spring flowers

Snowdrops English countryside spring flowers
- All links in this blog post are affiliate links. See my full disclaimer for more info. -

Snowdrops are the first flowers to bloom in the New Year and they're the first sign of Spring to many. I'm actually a little late sharing my snowdrop photos as they often come out mid-February, but as they had the storm to contend with this year, I was just grateful that there were any snowdrops left be seen at all. 

This year I have tasked myself to learn a little bit more about the flowers I photograph as although I love admiring them, I'm not the best at disguising between the different types. Snowdrops are often a symbol of hope, but upon researching them I actually learnt that Victorian's once thought that it was unlucky to bring a snowdrop into the home. I mean, as pretty as they would be in the home, they're actually considered endangered in the UK, so I think they're best left in the ground anyway!

After the dark Winter, March tends to feel like a bit of a slog, but turning to snowdrops and Spring flowers alike, means I can often find a little lightness at this time of the year. Here are three signs of Spring that you may enjoy remembering too. 

- In the UK, the clocks go forward on the 27th March meaning the evenings officially start getting lighter. The sun on that day will set 7:26pm. 

- The first signs of daffodil shoots and blossom on the trees have already started, but they're get even more colourful as the month goes on.

- You'll start to see bees again soon as they start to get to work.  

Although a little overdressed for the time of the year, the blue skies gave me the perfect excuse to wear my new Hearts and Found Isadora Dress and dig out my favourite Mushroom Basket Bag from last year. Sitting on the grass, snowdrops by my feet and sun beaming down, it truly felt like Spring was well on it's way.  


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Friday, 25 February 2022

First Impressions On The FOREO BEAR Mini

FOREO BEAR Mini Review

FOREO BEAR Mini Review
- This is a paid collaboration with FOREO. All links are affiliate links. - 

FOREO are a brand you've probably heard of already, especially when it comes to their award winning cleansing devices and mask treatments. I've wanted to give the FOREO BEAR Mini a try for some time, so I thought I'd share my first impressions of using the device and come back in a month to share my before and after. 

I started using the FOREO BEAR Mini as part of my nighttime routine, fitting it in-between the stages where I've just cleansed my skin, but before I've moisturised. It promises to tighten the skin, increase circulation and make the skin appear brighter, all whilst exercising the 65+ muscles in your face and neck. I use the free FOREO app on my phone to get to grips with how to use the device. The app easily allows you to control the intensity you want the device to be at, talks you through the whole process and you're even able to start your message directly from your phone. The feeling of the massage felt a little strange on the first couple of tries as there's a slight tingling sensation, but I actually found it rather relaxing after a while. It glides easily over the skin without tugging, something I was initially worried about it doing, and it gets into all the areas I want it to. 

FOREO BEAR Mini Serum Serum Serum Review

FOREO BEAR Mini First Impressions Review

It's important to note that the FOREO BEAR Mini device has to be used with a conductive serum, gel or cream, so I've been personally using the FOREO Serum Serum Serum as part of my routine. As a stand alone product, I actually really love how it's been making my skin feel, especially under makeup. When used with the micro-current device, I find that it doesn't leave a greasy residue and makes me skin feel hydrated. 

I've been introducing different devices to try as part of my skincare routine for some time now, but I like that the FOREO BEAR Mini is pocket sized and easy to use, which means it doesn't feel like a task to use in the evening. Although at £179 it's definitely an investment product, I like to work it out as cost per use. If I'm going to use it three times a week, then over time, the price of the device feels a lot less scarier. If you see yourself replacing your facials or face massage with the FOREO device instead, then it can cut down on the amount spent at the salon. FOREO also offers a two year warranty and as there's no replacement parts to consider, the FOREO BEAR Mini means there will be no future costs when running the device. 

With the effects the FOREO BEAR Mini promises, like easing facial tensing (something I struggle with!) and deeply cleansing the skin, I'm looking forward to trying this out and seeing what the end results will be like. 

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Friday, 21 January 2022

January Self-Care Routine

Winter Selfcare Routine

- This is a paid collaboration with Very.co.uk - 

In January, I love to focus more on self-care, creating a relaxing routine and setting time aside to spend it on myself. With the cold weather and the dark evenings, I like to make the most of cosying up indoors by giving myself a pamper and I'm very grateful to have added some new beauty products to my routine that I think you'll also love. 

Just like many other people, a full bath routine is an essential part of my self-care. I personally love to go all out with candles, luxe feeling products and setting the mood with music and a book. I've got some new products to try out around my bath including the Elemis Frangipani Monoi Salt Glow Scrub which smells like a spa and feels lavish to use. For my face, I pop on the Elemis Superfood Vital Veggie Mask which is an absolute dream to use as in just 10 minutes my complexion is transformed, feeling much softer and smoother. 

Winter Selfcare Pamper Routine

Winter Self Care

After getting out of the bath, I like to lather on a thick body cream and finish off the rest of my skincare. The Elemis Superfood Facial Oil has made it's way into my regime as it doesn't' feel too heavy on the skin, but helps to replenish my skin after a hot bath. Once all clean, I like to have a fresh pair of pyjamas which have been warmed up on the radiator waiting for me. V by Very have a lot to offer, but I chose the Star All Over Joggers as they're super snuggly and great for cuddling up with a cup of tea. 

One of the items I've added to my daily routine is the Centred Tender Love and Hair Suppliments which I have been trying out to assist the growth of my hair and the condition of my skin especially in the Winter when I struggle the most. These supplements also promise to help boost energy levels, which I'm all for in these colder, dreary months. 

Something a little different that I'm trying out to elevate my self-care routine even more is an Ellia Blosso Fragrance Diffuser which helps to create a relaxing environment not only with mist and aroma, but also with a soft light. I particularly enjoy using this in the evening when I'm settling down with a cup of a tea and a good book. 

What are your favourite ways to relax in January? 

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Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Winter Dark Academia Outfits

dark academia winter outfits

dark academia winter outfits

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

Dark academia is an aesthetic that is highly popular in the Winter months due to it's earth tones and cosy feels. With literary influences, you can see why the dark academia style can be romanticised and used to brighten up dull Winter days. If you're looking for inspiration or you're struggling to know where to start when exploring this new aesthetic, then I hope you this post helps you out. 

Oversized Collars 

Ruffle blouses and shirts with oversized collars are featured heavily in this aesthetic especially when tucked into a pair of plaid trousers or worn underneath an argyle sweater vest. Although they're not for everyone, I love how they add a dramatic effect to an outfit and I've actually grown to feel rather comfortable in them. 

Plaid Patterns 

If there's one element of dark academia that I love the mosts, it's the plaid and checkered patterns that prove quite popular with the aesthetic. I wear these patterns throughout Autumn and Winter as they're a great way to jazz up an outfit. You can experiment with dresses and lace up boots, opt for a jumper tucked into a skirt or just simply wear a classic pair of checkered trousers with your favourite tee. 

 

Brown Tones 

The brown tones of the dark academia style seriously reminds me of Autumn which I think is the reason why I love it so much. Different shades of browns, beiges and even burgundy hues can be used to compliment each other. A Beige Trench Coat seems like one of the biggest essentials as it can be worn with trousers, skirt or dresses and feels like a well put together outfit!

 

Accessories 

When you think of dark academia accessories, your mind probably wanders to hardback books, candlestick holders and faux glasses, but they can be easy to wear also if you pick out the right accessory. Leather Satchels with gold details always looks good with any outfit and for your hair, you can simply wrap a singular piece of ribbon in your hair or go all out with an Oversized Velvet Bow

 

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