Easter Baking: Chocolate Mini Egg Cupcakes

on
Tuesday, 16 April 2019
Hello lovelies! 
Beautiful spring time is upon us and I can certainly say I've loved seeing the cherry blossom petals falling upon my head and all around, making everything pretty as can be. I've spotted all the Easter bunnies around lately, as it's Easter weekend this weekend! I booked a few days off over Easter to really make the most of this special time of year with my family.


One of my favourite things to do over Easter is bake seasonal treats! 
I opted for these scrumptious chocolate cupcakes, with a luscious chocolate buttercream and a perfectly pastel mini egg to top it off! 
These would be perfect all over the Easter weekend, especially if you have lots of leftover mini eggs!
The recipe to make these cupcakes are...
Utensils   - Cupcake cases
            Piping bag
            Star nozzle
                           12 Hole cupcake tray
Cupcake   - 40g Cocoa powder
                            4 tbsp Boiling hot water 
                          3 Free range large eggs 
                                     175g Unsalted butter (softened)
                165g Caster sugar
                       115g Self raising flour
                    1 tsp Baking Powder
Buttercream    - 60g Unsalted butter (softened)
       30g Cocoa powder
3 Tbsp milk
   250g Icing sugar
Mini eggs

Method for cupcakes - 1. Line a muffin tin with paper cases (any of your choice, I'd recommend something with an Easter theme, or some pastel pretties!)
2. Sift the cocoa powder into a big bowl and then add the hot water, begin to mix together into a paste.
3. Add the eggs, butter, sugar, flour and baking powder, mix with an electric whisk for a smooth batter, but beating with a wooden spoon works just as well too.
4. Divide the mixture evenly between each of the 12 cases, bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 6 for 15 minutes, until well risen and springy to touch. Once they're baked transfer onto a wire cooling rack.

Method for buttercream - 1. Melt the butter slightly and place into a bowl, sift in the cocoa powder and combine, once it's combined sift in the icing sugar a little bit at a time and stir. You should have a smooth, glossy consistency now, if the icing is thick, add the milk gradually until it reaches desired consistency. 
2. Once the cakes are cool, using your piping bag to swirl the delightful chocolate buttercream over your cupcake and place a mini egg in the centre.

They should look a little something like these... 😄




I hope you all have a healthy, happy and safe Easter week/weekend, filled with bunnies, chicks, pastel blossoms and lots of yummy chocolate eggs!

K xxx


'Pretty in Pink' - Spring Haul 2019

on
Tuesday, 26 March 2019
Hello lovelies! I'm back with a pretty in pink, Spring haul!! 
I have had two weeks holiday away from work and I've spent it having some long overdue relaxing time, with my family and fiancee. I decided to do some shopping and treat myself, which somehow ended up becoming extremely pink and dreamy!

I had been admiring the backpack's Ted Baker had been releasing all of last year, I just couldn't bring myself to buy it at full price, due to saving money, so I waited... Then luckily I saw on the website in the 'outlet' section the last batch of this perfectly pink backpack, I can imagine using it over the spring time whilst going on walks admiring the cherry blossom and also taking it on a beach trip in the summer. It was £199 reduced to £109. I knew I wouldn't get much more of a better deal than this, so this was my big holiday treat! It came beautifully packaged and I've kept the box to use as storage. I can't believe I own this perfect backpack...


I was super excited when I saw Disney had released their 'Mary Poppins' merchandise, it was incredibly aesthetically pleasing! One of the top things on my wish-list was this baby blue, white and baby pink themed mug! It's the perfect size and the prettiest mug I think I've ever laid my eyes on!! 
My Mum knew how much I loved it and very kindly treated me to it, it's perfect for my tea and biscuits on an evening.


My Mum kindly enough treated me again to this floral scented perfume from 'Next', it's called 'Just Pink' and is scented exactly like 'Victoria's Secret- Tease' perfume, just a fraction of the price. It's the perfect floral, blooming scent for Spring and Summer.


Over on Instagram I saw lots of people talking about Lidl's new range of girly kitchen essentials. I viewed the prettiest 'Cath Kidston' looking range and couldn't leave without purchasing anything! I think I was very restrained, I picked up the floral digital scales with a flower buds adorning them. I also popped in my basket the apron and oven gloves set that matches the scales. I can;t wait to bake with these!


I've been eager to do a mini splurge in Lush for a while now, I have also wanted to repurchase a couple of things. One of my all time favourite products is Lush's 'Salted Coconut hand scrub', I'm so happy to have this again, it's feels very luxurious  and helps keep my hands super soft. The other repurchase (kindly my fiancee treated me) is the 'Pink Peppermint' foot lotion, this smells so refreshing and the ingredients are so beneficial for your feet and keeping them in good condition, especially if you're on them a lot. Two new products I bought were the new shower scrub called 'Mamma Mia', it's a very pink scrub, with vanilla, rose and himalayan salt, three of my favourite things! I am very excited to try this. 
Lastly I bought one of the traditional Lush tins to store my new body bar 'Shimmy Shimmy', I think over the summer it'll give my skin a moisture boost and keep it glistening in the sunshine.


One of my favourite flowers and scents is rose, so I was very excited to see this baby pink, rose, hair conditioner in TKMaxx, it smells divine and is sulfate and paraben free, much better to keep your hair healthy and conditioned.


A few Easter bits, as Easter is so late this year I don't quite feel in the spirit yet, but my fiancee knew I'd fallen in love with Disney's Easter range this year, particularly this beautiful 'Easter Bunny' Minnie Mouse, so he bought her for me! She's all pastel and girly, just like myself and I love the added detail that Disney added onto her foot, which is 'Disney Store 2019'.


He also treated me to some early Easter chocolate from 'Hotel Chocolat', which is delicious! 
When I went to TKMaxx I also saw all their Easter range and couldn't resist this gorgeous salt and pepper shaker set! The pretty mint and white spotty basket, with a small bunny and chick sat inside it. I can't wait to put this on the Easter dinner table for a roast.
I also purchased the loveliest bunny shaped plate, covered in a floral print, perfect for a chocolate Easter nest, filled with mini eggs!


Here are my most recent clothing purchases, I went into Victoria's Secret: Pink and found the comfiest clothes, but they're also super cute! I found these comfy black, fleece lined shorts, which I think will be comfortable for summer time and it has 'Pink' all in sparkly letters on the side of the shorts. The other purchase from Pink was this gorgeous mint green sweater, it's so cosy and warm with a fleece lining, the perfect sweater for spring, when there is still a slightly chilly wind.
I don't usually go into Dorothy Perkins much, but my Mum wanted to look so I joined her, luckily I did! I found this pretty, sparkly, pink top, with a summery feel to it and couldn't leave it behind, I think this top would look lovely with a pair of white demin shorts.





I hope this post has got you in the spring/Easter spirit a bit more and you've been inspired to make some spring purchases! 

Have the best week lovelies!!!

Kellie 
xxx


Twitter - @KellieSaunders1
Instagram - @KellieSaunders1

Goals for 2019

on
Tuesday, 15 January 2019
A belated Happy New Year lovelies!

I'm so sorry for the delayed new year post. I've made the most of my second week off of work and giving myself some self care time, taking some time away from social media, spending time with my family, focusing on a new year, better me! (I saw that quote on Lydia Elise Millen) and it really stood out to me. Now back to normality! I know myself I love the feeling of a new year and a fresh start, getting a new planner and pen, feeling oh so organised, but it also makes me feel an element of anxiety and pressure to make all these changes and to me it signifies all the things I need to achieve, which is positive, but scary at the same time, as I may not achieve them.



So I decided to set small goals for myself, on more of an achievable level, so I don't put pressure on myself.

 1- Read 6 books this year.
Now, compared to others' new year book goals, this is extremely small, but due to my busy job and always working, I knew I didn't want to set the bar too high, one of the books I am aiming to read this year is William Makepeace Thackeray's 'Vanity Fair', this is a huge book that will take quite a bit of reading time up, but I am excited for this. Especially in Spring, where it's a lovely, warm day, lots of flowers blooming and getting absorbed into another world.


2- Sustainable clothing - Time capsule wardrobe.
I have seen a lot of talk about this, the amount of clothing and money we waste every season on trend pieces, it made me so aware that I'd rather save up a bit longer to purchase one timeless and good quality piece of clothing, to then create a time capsule wardrobe, than buy lots of pieces for the same price as one, but they won't last, and will start to look unfashionable. I can just imagine a wardrobe filled with pieces that are stylish, simple and full of pink to use year after year.


3- Pay off my car debt.
When I passed my test I went to get a car straight away on a PCP plan, the past year I have saved and saved to pay this off early, I have a little more saving to do, but I'm hoping to have this debt gone this year. I think having no debts help to have a healthy and happy mental state.

4- Healthy lifestyle.
Last year I began trying to find a good balance between my eating habits, exercise and incorporating a healthy lifestyle, whilst being at full time work. I have been following Anna Saccone Joly and Lydia Elise Millen with their healthy lifestyle journeys, they have given the best content on how to be sensible and still enjoy foods, without taking on any detox diets or unhealthy diets, a way to sustain a healthy, happy relationship with food, working out and balance. Their content has given me the best, positive way to gain a healthy lifestyle, I don't want to do crazy diets, I've deprived myself and made myself ill before, so there won't be any cutting of food groups, no restrictions, a healthy balanced diet, with a sensible amount of working out, a small workout each morning is what I am aiming for!
I highly recommend looking at Anna and Lydia's YouTube videos and blogpost's if that's one of your 2019 goals!



I'd love to hear your new year goals in the comments or follow me on Instagram and Twitter @KellieSaunders1 and let me know!

Kellie Jo
xxx

What I Got For Christmas 2018

on
Sunday, 30 December 2018
Hello lovelies! 
I cannot believe it's nearly 2019 and I am posting another 'What I Got For Christmas Haul'...This year has gone by so quickly!
I hope you all had a magical Christmas, filled with lots of family time, carols, hot chocolates and everything you wished for. 

I have done this post every year for around 5 years now, it always seems very popular and I enjoy writing it, so I thought I'd carry on tradition and do it again for 2018.
I was very lucky to be spoilt again this year, so I wanted to share what I got and give you some 'wishlist' inspiration. 

Here are some of presents I received from my Mum and Dad - 
Lots of beautiful bath sets one from 'Baylis and Harding' with an adorable 'Time to Sparkle' toiletry bag, a 'Ted Baker' set in the scent 'Fragrant Bloom' and 'Vintage and Co' set.

 An 'Imperial Leather Unicorn bubble bath', a 'Vanilla Sugar' bubble bath, a 'Baylis and Harding' bath frizzer set, a 'Mad Beauty, Marie, Bows and Whiskers' bath milk and two 'Holla-graphic' bath bombs.

A mini Lush haul - 'Snow Fairy' shower gel, 'Candy Cane' bubble bar, the 'Princess' bath bomb and snow fairy scented 'Magic Wand'.




Also from my Mum and Dad, some bits that aren't bath related...
I went to see 'Mary Poppins Returns' and I can't begin to tell you how magical it was! I was thrilled to get the prettiest set of 'Mary Poppins' socks with lovely quotes from the movie and a beautiful pastel pink nightie set with 'Practically Perfect in Every Way' covering it, with an adorable eye mask to match.

Beauty wise they got me one of my favourite perfumes 'Estee Lauder's Youth Dew' Christmas pack, an 'Armani' mini perfume set, I love these to test a mixture of perfumes instead of buying the full size bottles and one of the MAC eye shadows from the 'Shiny Things' collection, this pretty, sparkly eyeshadow is called 'P for Pink'.
I was thrilled to find Megan Hess' 'Coco Chanel' book in my gifts, I love her illustrations and cannot wait to absorb into this world of beauty and class.

They also gifted me a couple of clothing items, the first is a beautiful pink jumper from 'Dorothy Perkins', it has a lovely sequin detail at the neck line. They also got me a baby pink hoodie from Primark, it has the warmest fleece lining. They also got me my calendar choice of the year which is the 'Barbie Couture' one.





Now for what my Fiance got me this year - We went to the Disney Store close to Christmas time and I saw this beautiful 'Mary Poppins Returns' Barbie doll. I know what you're thinking.. "Kellie, you're 23, you really don't need a Barbie doll", but from such a young age I was always obsessed with Barbie's, I had a huge collection and Barbie was a huge part of my childhood, I still love just admiring them. This one is a collectable, I haven't and do not plan to take her out of the packaging, I just admire the beauty of it.
He also knew how much I loved this year's 'Victoria's Secret' fashion show robe, all the sparkles and gorgeous shade of pink, I love the idea of stepping into 2019 feeling glam wearing this.
As a baking lover, one thing I have been wanting to try for the longest time after seeing so many YouTubers talk about them is 'The Biscuiteers' biscuits, they always have the most beautiful, detailed designs and since he took me to see 'The Nutcracker' ballet two weeks ago, he got me 'The Nutcracker' themed ones, they're delicious!
Another Megan Hess book I was wishing for was this one 'New York, Through a Fashion Eye', like 'Coco Chanel', I can't wait for more fashion inspiration!
Jamie knew I adored 'Cath Kidston's' newest CathKidstonxDisney Bambi collection, the beautiful floral pattern with Bambi and Thumper, he purchased me to two 'Royal Stafford' plates and cutest cup to match.
As it's been just over a year since Jamie proposed to me, he chose the 'Disney Tradition' where Mickey is proposing to Minnie and I think this one is beautifully designed and is very special.
Last but not least, he also bought me some Lush bits - 'Twilight' bath bomb, 'Sex Bomb' bath bomb, 'Butterbear' bath bomb and 'The Snow Fairy' jelly bomb.









My sister and brother in law to be got me the Minnie Mouse 'Nutcracker' and later I was gifted the Mickey 'Nutcracker' to match in a secret Santa. They're perfect and great to signify the year I got to see the ballet.

What was your favourite thing you got for Christmas?

I hope you have a wonderful new year, set some productive goals and have a healthy, happy new year!

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @KellieSaunders1

Kellie Jo
xxx

Christmas Time in London - Shopping, Sightseeing and The Nutcracker Ballet

on
Tuesday, 25 December 2018
Merry Christmas lovelies!
The most magical day of the year is here and I hope you're all having a healthy and happy time.

I thought for a special Christmas Day post I'd talk about the most Christmassy day I had in London last week.
As a birthday present my fiance booked us tickets to see 'The Nutcracker' ballet at The London Coliseum, I have wanted to see this ballet for the longest time and I couldn't believe it was finally here, I get to see Clara, The Nutcracker and The Sugar Plum Fairy in real life instead of on a screen.

We took an early train to Covent Garden to have a little shop around...We was greeted to this beautiful Christmas tree in the middle of Covent Garden, making us feel even more festive.
We took a look around the shops, the Chanel boutique was full of luxurious perfumes and beauty products. I also learnt Holly Golightly was completely right about Tiffany's, how gorgeous is their little blue box wreath?





The one place I really wanted to go to on our trip was Laduree, I have dreamt of going to this whimsical, pastries and desserts delight ever since I saw Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl having the biggest bubble bath, whilst eating a decadent Laduree macaroon! 




We had a lovely lunch at Frankie and Benny's and as we had time before the ballet started, we decided to take a stroll through Trafalgar Square and visit Buckingham Palace, for some reason it seemed even more magical a week before Christmas, as I type this the Queen's speech is on the tv, a lovely Christmas tradition.



We walked straight to the Coliseum from Buckingham Palace and was greeted with the most beautiful building, adorned with garlands and wreaths.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the most breathtaking ballet pointe Christmas tree, which was inspired by 'The Waltz of Flowers', the bottom started with fuschia colours and it gradually spirals up to a blush colour on top. 




I took a look in the Coliseum gift shop, as I mainly wanted to buy a programme, but at the till I saw this stunning, pink nutcracker tree decoration, I couldn't leave without it as I knew it would be perfect on my pink wonderland tree.



Other than the bits I got from the ballet, I done a couple of purchases whilst being in Covent Garden.
I have been wanting to make my first Charlotte Tilbury purchase for a while and I couldn't decide what to get, but I saw this perfume and fell in love with it, it's in the shade 'Super Cindy'.
In Laduree I chose the six macaroon pink box, two raspberry, two chocolate, one vanilla and one pistachio, I also purchased a pack of their festive biscuits for my Mum and Dad.



I hope you're all having a wonderful time and Merry Christmas!!!

Enjoy your evening...

Kellie Jo 
xxx