Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Recipe | The Hummingbird Bakery Frosted Brownies

Ok guys, if you are a chocolate fan, this is going to be the best recipe you are going to come across! I made these brownies today, and they taste AMAZING! They are so easy to make and are simply delicious!
You will need:
For the brownies:
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
175g unsalted butter
325g caster sugar
130g plain flour
3 eggs
icing sugar, to decorate
a 33 x 23 x 5-cm baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper
Makes about 12 portions
For the frosting:
200g icing sugar, sifted
75g unsalted butter, at room temperature
30g cocoa powder, sifted
150g cream cheese, cold
The Brownies:
Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3.
Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth.
Remove from the heat. Add the sugar and stir until well incorporated. Add the flour and stir until well incorporated. Finally stir in the eggs and mix until thick and smooth.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until flaky on the top but still soft in the centre. Be careful not to overcook otherwise the edges will become hard and crunchy. Leave to cool completly before icing.

The Frosting:
Beat together the icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handhelf electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat as it ca quickly become runny.



Thursday, 22 November 2012

Book Review | The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

I read a lot of books. Sometimes two a week. Reading is a passion of mine that I will never get bored of. I rarely do book reviews on my blog, as although I love a lot of books, I don't often feel so strongly about a book.
My reasoning for buying this book is a) I have heard great things about it, and b) the film is out, and I always like to read the book before I watch the film.
I found this in The Works for £2.99, which is even cheaper than downloading it on a Kindle/ iPad. I started reading it on Sunday before I went to work, and by Wednesday night, I was crying at the fact that I had finished it.
I'm not going to give away the plot line, as I urge you to read it, but I know these characters are going to stay with me for a long time, and this book has definitely changed my perspective on life, and you get so captured in the book, you really feel like you are their friends.
I'm finding it quite hard to put it into words, but I just loved this book, and connected with Charlie like I don't usually do with book characters. Its written in such  different style and is really touching; I know I will remember this book in the years to come.
We accept the love we think we deserve.
We were infinite.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Review | Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette (And Do You Need Both)

Before I even set foot in the USA, I had my mitts on the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette. Having received the original palette for my birthday at the same time last year, and using it and loving it to death; when I saw it in the duty free magazine, I couldn't resist!

Like the original palette, you get 12 well sized eyeshadows, that are all insanely pigmented and gorgeous quality. This palette contains a variety of cooler tones, compared to the original palette which is made up of warmer tones.
The first colour is Foxy. It is a pale yellow colour that I use every day as a highlight. The next one is Half Baked which is probably my favourite eyeshadow in the world! I adore it in the original palette, and it is the only eyeshadow I have ever hit pan on! So I am defiantly glad its in this palette! Thirdly is Bootycall which is a pretty shimmery champagne pink and then is Chopper which is an orange toned rose gold colour.
The shade Tease was the disappointment for me. I was really looking forward to trying this, as I love the look of a light shimmery eyeshadow on the lid, with a matte purple through the crease; but I don't think this is pigmented enough to get the desired effect. I think I'm going to have to look elsewhere in the likes of MAC Quarry! After that is Snakebite. It is a shimmery bronze, that is less intense and easier to wear than Smog from the other palette. Then is Suspect. It is a very light shimmery gold, and Pistol is a light grey with silver reflects.
Verve is a lovely intense silver, and YDK is a very glittery gold colour. (Beware of fallout)! Busted is a deep grey, that looks great in the crease when paired with Verve. And finally there is a gorgeous matte black- Blackout.
Here you can see them all swatched:
As you can see, they are all amazingly pigmented!
Also with the Naked 2 Palette, you get a mini lip junkie lipgloss:
The shade is really natural, and is so easy to wear. It smells really minty, and makes your lips tingle, in order to plump them.
You also get a double ended Karma Brush with a flat brush and a crease brush on either end.
Now, here's the question, do you need both the Naked 1 & 2?
I must say, I prefer the packaging of the second palette, it is sturdier and easy to clean, and doesn't look as messy.
They both contain stunning colours. The majority shimmery, which is fine by me, as I don't usually wear matte colours.
Personally I think, unless you are a complete beauty obsessive like myself, it is not compulsory to own both. Depending on whether you want warmer or cooler tones. You just need to decide which one appeals to you the most. I hope these pictures are helpful!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Review | Lee Stafford Bleach Blondes Shampoo & Conditioner

As you may know, for nearly two months now, I have had ombre hair. I love it just as much as I did at the very start, and am doing everything I can to take extra special care of it, as it is more partial to become damaged and dry.
For my birthday, (as well as getting it ombred) my parents bought me the Lee Stafford Bleach Blonds Shampoo. (I then bought the conditioner at Ulta in Florida).
I had never considered a purple shampoo/conditioner to lighten my 'blondness' until Zoe mentioned the Lee Stafford duo in one of her monthly favourites, and ombre hair care video. Zoe being one of the reasons for me changing my hair, (hers is so gorgeous) I knew I should take her recommendation!
With Pro-Blonde complex for bleached or partly bleached highlights or bleached hair. Knocks out brassy, canary yellow tones. To lightly tone, refresh and restore your blonde hair to salon beautiful colour. This mega moisturising blonde bombshell leaves hair looking and feeling super charged. With Moringa Seed extract (also known as Miracle Tree).
Basically, they are meant to make canary yellow tones in your bleached hair, less brassy, leaving you with beautiful golden locks.
I have been using these two products for over a month now on a weekly basis, and I must say, I am very impressed. Having bleached hair means the longer I have it, the more it starts to go a little 'ginger'. Using this shampoo restores the 'blondeness' making my hair look the same as it did when I first got it coloured!
As I mentioned, I only use this once a week. I find I only need to use it once. The day before I use it, my hair begins to look a little brassy, but as soon as I wash it with the shampoo and conditioner I love the look of it!
You get 250ml, but looks can be deceiving. My only gripe is the saying 'a little goes a long way' doesn't apply to this product at all. I feel like I have to use loads to achieve the feeling of clean hair. That's another reason I only use it once a week, despite the fact it wouldn't be very healthy for your hair, you'd use up a whole bottle within two weeks!
Apart from that, this shampoo is great for anyone who has bleached or partly bleached their hair, it really works wonders and makes your hair so soft and shiny. I find myself getting compliments every time I use it!
They retail for £6.39 which isn't two bad value when you compare it to other shampoos and conditioners on the market. Also, Lee Stafford often has some sort of offer on his products, for example at Boots they are 3 for £12.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Florida Holiday Pictures!

So I've finally written it! The post containing a lot of my photos from Florida! I hope you enjoy them!
Warning: Picture Heavy!!
My sister and me on our first day!
Me at Seaworld
Me on my birthday at Florida Mall, lots of shopping was done!!
Annabelle and Me at Universal Studios
Ever heard of a little place called Pinkberry? Seriously, it is the best place in. the. world! So glad there is one in Selfridges and Stratford Westfeilds!
My sister has a little obsession with the Titanic (not that I don't, I cant hear My Heart Will Go On without wanting to burst into tears!) and we went to this really cool museum, where it was like you were a passenger on the Titanic! 
This was being written in the sky when we were driving.
Mum and me at Seaworld
Aren't these the most beautiful, amazing creatures you've ever seen?!
Such a cute face!
This is just the most amazing animal show! (as well as the dolphin one!) It is just spectacular!
We were honestly this close to these tigers!
At Seaworld again
The most adventurous ride Mum's ever been on!!
Me on my birthday
Taking my wimp of a sister on the biggest log flume in Orlando. (Although I've got to hand it to her, we got her on some big roller coasters)!
Now this is probably one of my favourite parts of the holiday, The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter! Above is Hogsmede.
The Hogwarts Express
Its just so realistic!
We got to try Butterbeer, it taste AMAZING!
The Three Broomsticks
Another one of my favourite moments, feeding the stingrays was so cool! They just swim up to you, and you stroke them, and then hit their fins on the side of the wall to get you to feed them! Its so funny!
And my other best bit was feeding these beauties! Its so surreal to be able to touch these amazing animals, never mind feed them! Its something that I will remember for my whole life!
This was a lovely dolphin show, they are so fab!
I couldn't not include this! Seriously, look at Annabelle's face! She hates rides, and me and my dad talked her into going onto the fastest roller coaster in Florida- Cheetah Chase at Busch Gardens. I'm loving it!
We visited a lovely resort called Celebrations because some of our family are going there next year.
I know I'm vain, but I just really like my hair in this picture!
He was a lot less white than I would expect but beautiful never the less!
What is going on? Surely, this is not what is meant to happen?
There is something seriously wrong with Busch Gardens Turtles!
These guys were amazing!
My family always make the joke that our Border Terrier looks like an otter, so you can imagine our elation when we came across these babies! It looks like they are talking to each other!
Dads cool pictures! You may have noticed that there is no manly presence in all of the pictures, he is behind all of the photos!
I wish I was there now, but I'm so glad I have all of these photos to look back on!