Friday, August 31, 2012

Bakewell Cupcakes

I fell in love with Lilly Higgins’ Make, Bake, Love the first time I saw it. It’s so charming and fun, packed with lots of great recipes. The Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes stood out though and I couldn’t wait to make them. I love cherry bakewells though I rarely eat them for some reason. I need to rectify this!


Bakewell Cupcakes

Adapted from Make, Bake, Love by Lilly Higgins


220g caster sugar

100g butter,softened

2 eggs

160g plain flour

100g ground almonds

1 and half tsp baking powder

150ml milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

6 tbsp raspberry jam (I prefer seedless)

6 glace cherries, halved

100g icing sugar

1 tbsp boiling water


1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line cupcake tin.

2. Cream the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

3. Sieve the flour, ground almonds and baking powder into a bowl, then carefully fold in the egg mixture. Add the vanilla essence and milk and stir until just combined.

4. Add batter into the cupcake cases, filling only half way. Add a teaspoon of jam to each cake case and top with the remaining mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cakes are golden.

5. Leave to cool fully on a rack. To make the icing, combine the icing sugar with the water and beating until the icing is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. If it was too thin, add more icing sugar, if it is too think, add a small bit of water.

6. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, ice them with the icing and top with a half a glace cherry.

The first time I made these I used jam with seeds in it but I didn’t really like it so I used seedless jam the second time around. I love the addition of the ground almond, it gives it an interesting texture.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

YouTube Pick of the Week!

Another round of YouTube picks!

I had heard about The Marshmallow Test. The idea was to give a child a marshmallow, tell them they can eat it right away or if they wait 5 minutes without eating it they would get a second one. The children’s reactions was filmed and it’s very funny seeing them antagonize over whether or not to eat it!

Sminky Shorts are a delightful piece of Irish humour. I chose this one as I love the Cork accent!

This song from Korean rapper PSY is as catchy as the flu and the video is so bizarre you’ll want to watch it again and again!

I’m a sucker for puns and this video is just pun after pun!

I had heard of VSauce before, I was even told by my boyfriend I’d enjoy it. Of course I didn’t listen to him and only started watching it this week. I’M HOOKED! The show has some simple but fascinating sciencey videos as well as DONGs (stuff to Do Online Now, Guys) as well as videos for funny images and quirky things to buy. I can’t get enough!

I posted this video the other day when I wrote my Childs Play post but it’s worth posting again in case you missed it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Simple Bird Magnets


I’ve wanted to try this for ages since I first pinned it on Pinterest (unfortunately I can’t find the original source for that pin, if you know it please let me know!). I pinned it, collected some rocks and then completely forgot about it! Until one day I was feeling crafty and I decided I’d give it a go. I decided to turn them into magnets as I badly needed some new ones!

Making them was easy, just paint on your base colour of choice until it is opaque. Wait until dry. Then using a smaller brush, paint on your designs. Once dry, cover with a coat of varnish (if you want) and then attach the magnets (make sure you attach them correctly, that the side you have facing out will attach to your fridge properly) with a hot glue gun. Once dry you are free to use them! You can of course paint on different animals, I just really like owls.


These are my favourites!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Childs Play (Your Inner Child)

I watched the above video on YouTube last week and it really struck a chord with me. It’s all about the games we’d play as children, the silly things we did to entertain ourselves. And I realised that it wasn’t something I did when I was younger but it’s still something I do from time to time!

The video opens with games the narrator and his sister used to play in the car. I did these too, both of them. I used to ‘chop’ all the hedges and trees to the same height. Or failing that I’d pretend someone was travelling beside the car, doing somersaults and flips on all the objects so they wouldn’t touch the ground. I still do this when I’m a passenger in a car.

And while I no longer try to stop a stopwatch on the exact ‘perfect’ time, I do try and get my petrol pump to stop at the exact number!

To entertain myself going down the street, I would try not step in cracks, limit myself to 2 steps per pavement stone and balance along the curb. I’ve been known to do the balance thing when walking back to a friends house after a night out! When I was around 7 I would also walk across the top of my closed gate, something I don’t think I’d try do now!

I would run and (unsuccessfully) try to touch leaves and other things at heights, try to successfully predict when the light will turn green, hold my breath will going through a tunnel (something my boyfriend and I still do to this day!).

I would get the sweeping brush, line it up against the couch so it was at an angle and try and walk up it! I would turn off the light at night and try to run into my bed as quick as I could so the monsters wouldn’t ‘get’ me. I used to tuck my teddies in with blankets so they wouldn’t get cold. I used to sleep my head under the covers as I was afraid that people such as my teachers had a secret view into my bedroom at night! (that one is quite weird I admit!). And I wouldn’t let my feet out of the bed covers in case they got eaten.

And then we come to the classic ‘Don’t Touch the Lava’. It’s funny as I was playing this game last month in the Burren with two friends of mine!

This has reminded me of how many of the ‘games’ I still play and it makes me happy, as I think it’s important to be in touch with your inner child from time to time. But it’s also reminded me of how fearless you can be as a child. I used to walk across my closed gate when I was 7-8 and I was never afraid to do so. Now I don’t time I’d have the courage to try that! I would hop up on skateboards and the likes without fear. Now I see my younger siblings zipping around on whip sticks and yet when I’ve tried to go on them, I get straight off as it’s terrifying! It makes me sad how much fearless we become as we grow older and release responsibilities and other things like that. It’s certainly necessary but I hope I can tap into my inner child when I need it, to help me relax and play when things become to serious or too stressful. I suppose that’s the good thing about having younger siblings (or for some people nieces and nephews, children, grandchildren), they are great to be silly around!

Do you play any of these games? And how do you stay in contact with your inner child?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

YouTube Pick of the Week!

So I had planned last week to do a Olympic pick of the week, even had it written out but then all the videos got taken off YouTube due to copyright. Grrr! Very annoying. So here’s this week’s very mixed pick!

I decided to start with the Olympics, a compilation of very scary looking synchronized swimmers. That make up is crazy, I might possibly use it as a Halloween costume!

Somebody I follow on Twitter posted a video from this account and I’ve been hooked every since! I love lists so this is perfect. This ice cream one has been one of my faves so far, very weird altogether!

It takes a while to get into it, but the end just cracks me up! (Show me a good cat video and I’ll love you forever).

I heard about Being Elmo on the Pop Stuff podcast from It’s about Elmo and his puppeteer Kevin Clash. I was never a big Elmo fan until I saw this trailer. I’m dying to watch it!

I only discovered Awkward Black Girl this week but I thoroughly recommend watching it! If you can’t wait, please watch this video from 4:14 to 7:14. It just cracks me right up, so so funny! But it happens that I’m a Sister Act fan so that probably helps!

Last is a short clip on Salton Sea, in the desert of California. It’s just fascinating. I can’t even begin to describe it in words. Just watch it! It’s very eerie.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nails of the Week!


When it was sunny last night I took advantage of taking some pictures of my nails out in the sun. The shade here is Rimmel’s Night Before. Apparently you can’t buy it on Rimmel stands anymore but I got mine in Dealz. First coat application it looks kinda blue but when you put the second coat on, like above, you got a beautiful shimmery purple. It’s a gorgeous shade and I recommend you pick it up if you can!

Friday, August 10, 2012

YouTube Pick of the Week

I liked the last time I did this so I might make it a (semi) regular thing!

First up is Will Ferrell weighing in on the whole Kristen Stewart cheating on Rob Pattinson. You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard of it. Well, in this clip Will gets very emotional indeed!

Another Flathan video! The comedy gold this guy produces just doesn’t stop! Here he says the F word (bold Flathan!).

Speaking of bad words, here a weather man gets very confused! Thanks to for bringing this to my attention!

My boyfriend has a habit of calling me a ‘casual gamer’ to wind me up, just because I prefer playing things like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Bejewelled Blitz and Nintendo DS games instead of pwn-ing n00bz on Call of Duty. Drives me nuts! And finally this video gives me the perfect way to react next time it’s brought up!

Ah, Jimmy Kimmel. I love his antics. The video where the parents told their kids they ate their Halloween candy? Had me in STITCHES for days. This one is very funny, he gets celebrities to read out bad tweets directed to them.

And finally ‘Real Actors Read Yelp Reviews’. Dramatization of actual Yelp reviews. It just makes the silly things people say even sillier!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

25 Before 25: Enter a Craftster Challenge

I’ve been a member of Craftster since 2005. It’s a forum and community where people can post various different craft projects, sometimes even posting a tutorial for the project. You can ask questions and there’s blog posts too were Craftster staff post and highlight some projects.
And there’s the Craftster Challenge. Every month there’s a different challenge announced (it can be anything! One month it could be make something using items only found in a second hand shop and then next month could be projects with matchboxes). I’ve wanted to enter one of these for ages but could never work up the courage. So I decided to use 25 Before 25 to motivate me. And when I saw that this month’s challenge was food related I leapt at the chance to enter (ya, I technically wanted to do a crafty challenge but I don’t know what September and October will bring so I thought it was safer to enter something I knew I’d feel confident with rather than risk something completely and utterly out of my comfort zone). I went with the Spinach and Cheese Gnocchi Bake that I posted for my 30 Days of Pinterest. I recooked it from scratch and took photos of the different steps.
You can find my Craftster post here and if you wish and have a Craftster account I’d love a vote off you! Thanks!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Essence Snow White Collection

I knew I wanted this collection as soon as I set on it! I had my eye on the Evil Queen purple topper but when I got to my local Penney’s I only found Sleepy!(Well,Sneezy was there too but it’s brown and I’m not too gone on brown nail varnish). Luckily I managed to get to other Penney’s and pick up The Huntsman and Evil Queen toppers. Here are some swatches.


Sleepy with Huntsman over, no flash


With Flash

I wasn’t too gone on Huntsman when I first got it but as you can see on the middle finger and some of the others, it’s not just glitter but chunks of almost shattered mirror like pieces which I LOVE.


Black polish with Evil Queen Topper at the top of the nails.


You’ll have to forgive the lack of natural light pictures here as I had to take off the nail polish before bed. The Evil Queen polish is very gloopy, almost glue like and it wouldn’t dry for me. And I was afraid of getting it all over my bed sheets! I do like the effect I got off it but it needs several layers to build up. So I ended up first wanting the Evil and not impressed with Huntsman to loving Huntsman and being underwhelmed by Evil Queen!

You can see more swatches here on Pakokeets. I LOVE the electric blue Grumpy and Snow White red is pretty amazing too. Had I seen then I would have snapped them up as well. If you’re lucky you might by able to, but you’ll have to hurry as they are selling pretty fast!

Monday, August 6, 2012

25 Before 25: Visit the Aran Islands

Another 25 Before 25 post! I’m enjoying seeing things crossed off the list. But I should really get a move on and complete some more!

The trip to the Aran Islands was the day after surfing and boy did we pick a good day to go! It was so sunny and warm, just lovely! We chose to go to Inis Mór mainly because, if I’m honest, I wanted to go to the Supermacs there! Come on, who doesn’t want to go to Supermacs on the Aran Islands!

We left from Doolin on the Doolin2Aran Ferries. First we passed Inis Oírr and got to see the shipwreck from the opening credits of Father Ted!


When we arrived on Inis Mór, we decided to rent some bikes. Unfortunately this dinosaur helmet did not fit me!


We cycled around the island until I got too tired and whined that I didn’t want to cycle up any more hills! So we went to the seal beach but unfortunately there was no seals around then. Boo!


And I was thoroughly amused at the Bank Of Ireland they have there.


And finally we got to go to Supermacs! YAY!


And had a drink in the American Bar.


Horsey outside the bar.


And of course, me being the amadáin that I am, I forgot to put on sun cream and got scalded. For shame really, as I’m ALWAYS hassling people to put on sun cream. I usually always put it in but in my sleepiness that morning (and the fact that it was cloudy when we left the house), it completely slipped my mind. Needless to say I will not let that happen again!

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