Friday, 13 November 2015

Friday Baking - Oreo Cookie Cookies!

Winter is coming! (any GOT fan will love that) But, yes, in all seriousness, winter is truly upon us. With these simple tasty treats, those long, cosy evenings on the sofa are about to become truly irresistible; these gooey oreo cookies are the ultimate companions. For this recipe, I was inspired by the fabulous Zoella.

PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES (unless you've got to pop to Tesco, then I'd give it 45!)

110g Butter
150g Granulated White Sugar
1 Egg
1tsp Vanilla Extract
200g Plain Flour
50g Chocolate Chips 
14 Oreo Cookies

The best thing about this recipe is that you don't need any fancy machines to beat/whisk/mix anything... All you require is a large mixing bowl, a wooden spoon and some kitchen scales unless you've got a very good eye! 

Firstly, preheat your oven to 180oC.

Put the butter into the mixing bowl and pop it into the microwave for a minute to melt it down (as long as your bowl is microwave safe, please check!), beat it the sugar until they form a paste together. 

Add the vanilla extract and then careful crack your egg in, mix with a wooden spoon, but be careful not to overbeat the mixture.

Once all is mixed in, slowly add in the flour, mixing it as you go, keep folding until the flour is fully incorporated into the mixture. 

Next it's the fun bit! I dragged my housemate in for this, crush up the Oreo's! Place the cookies into a plastic sandwich bag and crush them up with a rolling pin (or if you don't have one of those just use a jar of sauce from your cupboard like we did!).

Throw it the chocolate chips and crushed cookies. Mix everything up and it should form quite a dense but fluffy mixture of gooey yumminess! 

Line a baking tray and dive into the bowl with your hands, form small balls by rolling the mixture round in your hands like play-do! Pop these onto the tray, be careful not to have them too close to each other as they will spread out whilst baking. 

Pop them into the oven and bake for around 12 minutes. My advice would be to check them after 12 minutes and if you think they need another minute or 2 then that's fine, but no longer than 14 minutes in total! The trick is to see whether the cookie is lightly turning a golden brown, that means they are ready! They will be quite gooey, so be careful not the touch until they have cooled a little. Leave them to cool for 30 minutes, if you can wait that long! 

Let me know if you give these a go, tag me over on instagram @ElleThorpe1 I would love to see your creations. 

Elle xxx

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Thursday, 8 October 2015

Down it Fresher....|| The Fresher Survival Guide for Uni

Hellooo there little ones!

I am a tad late to the party but ya know, forgive me. It is that time of year again, summer is a distant memory, the kids are back to school and the academic year is starting all over again. Yikes, that came fast. A while back I wrote a post with my top tips for university that I gained throughout my own personal experience. I don't want to scare you, uni is an incredible, exhilarating experience and seen as it is October now, I thought I would have a little more fun, so here is a little light hearted Freshers guide that I wish someone would have written for me...

Now, uni is a system of education, ultimately you are there to study and to learn so I'm going to get the boring bits out of the way first.

First of all, organisation is key, you may have the most free time you've ever had in your life, but, the time also seems to be moving at double speed at uni. You've got to juggle going out, keeping on top of your reading list, and, have the energy to socialise. Get yourself a planner, a diary, a schedule, what the hell you wana call it... get one or make complete use of your smart phone app to organise yourself... you do not want to accidentally turn up to netball practice on Thursday instead of being at Anna's bday pre drinks do you?!

Don't panic....First year doesn't count. I'm not saying finish the year averaging on a sold 41%, that is not okay buuuut just remember that this is your year to make friends, settle in and get to know your new city! Do the work and keep your attendance up, but it's not the end of the world if you miss that Monday 9am now and again... 

Freshers week comes around pretty quick, you basically unpack your heels and before you know it you are going out every night participating in this thing called 'Freshers Week'. Freshers week is the week before teaching begins, a lot of clubs put on big nights, sometimes fancydress, Where's Wally anyone? There will be a freshers fair on campus, which takes place during the day, where you can go and check out any sports teams and societies you are interested in. There will also be so many brands there pitching their products and services... take advantage of this, take every freebie, voucher and discount you can! Trust me, you will appreciate those Dominoes vouchers when you're hungover and it's not Two for Tuesdays!

Buy a onesie, please, you will need it and you will love it. And yes lads, I'm looking at you too!

The student slang; the words 'lecture' 'seminar' '2:1' 'assignment' 'project' 'halls' will all become part of your second language.. by that I mean the way you talk at uni but would never find yourself doing at home. If you're going to a uni in a big city you will also understand that the Met vs Uni rivalry does actually exist, no we are not in an American college, but yes we do take this rivalry very serious... varsity nights will be the best of your life... or the worst.

Use the fact that you are a student, Student Beans, UNiDAYS, NUS discount, these are all fantastic ways to get money off, discount codes, vouchers to use online... all this for not doing anything except for being a student! Most people don't bother, but just think how much money you would save over the course of a whole year...

Join societies/sports clubs, I talk about this in my first post, and all about making friends and being sociable... but I can't stress it enough, use your free time, discover new things and even if you don't stick to them, you are bound to make friends to keep anyway!

Last but not least... Embrace life as a fresher, looking back, my first year was the funnest, most ridiculous year of my life  and I hope yours is too, before you know it you will be graduating, so make the most of it and down it fresher!

Have fun little ones! 
Elle xxx

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Tuesday, 8 September 2015

SUMMER BLUES || Travel Bucket List 2015

Hello everyone!

As summer draws to a close, I know that I won't be straying too far from the nest for at least another year. Naturally, my mind begins to wander to the rest of the world, ya know, just to make me really jealous of all my friends who are jet setting off without return tickets this year...

For a little while I let myself pretend that I'm a free bird, flying off to travel the globe and experience this beautiful planet we call Earth... but then it all come crashing down and I'm not! So instead, I've sat here and I've thought of my own personal travel bucket list. Now, I would probably go to any country in the whole wide world but I've narrowed it down to the top five I want to cross off first. 

1. India

India has been in my top picks for a very long time, it is a huge country and obviously I would have to decide where I would want to visit the most. I just think that the colourful culture and friendly faces that fill the borders creates such a beautiful nation and I would love to learn more about it. Whether I go and wander the grounds of the famous Taj Mahal, navigate the bustling streets of Delhi or relax on the white sands and sparkling waters of Goa... who knows! 

2. Brazil

When I think of Brazil I imagine great cities alongside perfect sandy beaches and lush rainforests, the diversity of this country fascinates me. I think the first place I would visit would be Rio de Janeiro, (obviously cause that's where everyone goes) but I do think that there is so much more to explore... the hidden tracks of the Amazon, the magnificent Sao Paulo, the open marshes of Pantanal... 

3. Greece

Greece is a funny one, I have actually visited the country twice before, I went to Athens on a school football tournament and I also went to Corfu for a few days on my interail trip around Europe in 2012. I'm obviously very lucky to have been to Greece twice but tbh I really don't feel like I've seen Greece at all! I didn't get to see the blue and white country that is advertised everywhere you turn. Now maybe the whole mountain village by the sea with donkeys and flat roofed white houses is just a myth and probably started as an advertising campaign... who knows, maybe it was watching Mamma Mia too many times as a kid but this country still fascinates me. One summer, soon, I'm going to do a whole 'Greek summer', I'm going to island hop, drink Ouzo and live off feta cheese, mmmmm, sounds good, maybe this will be the plan for summer 2016. 

4. Sweden

Apart from a lot of people thinking I look Swedish, I have no knowledge of the country at all! I would love to go to Sweden in the winter, the same goes for Norway and Finland, I would try to visit them all at once... exploring that side of Europe has been a dream of mine ever since my Grandmother went on a cruise and bought me one of those little Nordic dolls! I absolutely loved it and still have it to this day, I'd love to dress up in the traditional clothing and go around drinking beer and eating meatballs and herring! 

5. The US of A!

So yes, I left the biggest till last, I can't say best as I am yet to judge! I am aware that America is a huuuuuuuuuuge place, my top three cities on my list would be New York, LA and Miami. New York is just the dream, just like London I am sure it is just one of those magical places where dreams really can come true. Now, I say Miami, but what I probably mean is the wholeeee of Florida State, Disney World? Yes, please. Although I have never been, I feel like I would really love LA, the laid back but hard working lifestyle, I feel like it is a place where you can truly be yourself and not be judged, I also love how everyone is so hyped up about fitness and healthy eating...LA is just a cool place, isn't it

Have you been to any of these countries? Which are on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below, I'll always reply!

Lots of love, Elle xxx

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Monday, 10 August 2015

Motivational Monday || The Online World

Living in the age of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Blogger, and any other social media platform out there, it is so easy to get sucked into a way of living ‘online’. Now, some of you may be thinking, but wait, you are a blogger, you put your life online, and yes, yes that is true. But, the purpose of today’s post is to remind you all, and maybe myself, to not ‘loose’ ourselves in this ‘online world’.

With no exams, no stress of deadlines and long summer days stretching out ahead, I’ve noticed myself spending more time on these, so called, social media platforms. I’ve recently had to remind myself that they are just that, they are platforms, they are not a true representation of somebody’s life. It is terribly easy to get sucked into the online world and compare ourselves to so-and-so’s instagram account or this person’s profile picture and that person’s twitter account.

This is my way of saying, the online world may seem beautiful and faultless, but just remember, everyone has bad days and everyone uses filters. Don’t compare yourself to anybody ever, but especially not to someone’s online profile.

It is important to remind ourselves now and again to switch off, not just your mind, but also your phone, tablet, laptop, whatever it may be, switch it off and go outside, live in the moment. Forget about how good your snapchat story is and focus on your life story.

Lots of love, Elle xxx
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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Summer 5 Product Face

Apologies for the absence, I've been a total busy bee but there's lots more to come to explain that! Today's post is about a simple, summery makeup look with 5 of my favourite products. There's nothing better than getting glammed up for a night out, I love picking out my favourite foundation, perfecting my eyeliner and finding the lipstick. However, during the day I like to tone it down and wear minimal coverage, especially during these gorgeous summer months! I've developed a quick 5 minute routine with just 5 products that still makes me look like I've actually made an effort, always a bonus! 

Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer

Claiming to have an anti-fatigue and radiant glow effect, I use this Rimmel Concealer to cover up dark circles under my eyes, it seriously works wonders! During the summer months I don't like to wear foundation as it feels very heavy on my skin and I end up just sweating it all off, I use this concealer on any blemishes and redness. Priced at £5.49 at Boots it really is a summer steal!

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

I always go back to this palette as it is so so versatile, there are so many different looks you can create. For my simple summer look I use Foxy all over the lid and if I want to add a little shimmer I add a bit of Bootycall as well. Tease is also great for filling in my brows and if I want to give my eyes that extra bit of definition I like to use Blackout as a soft and subtle liner. A little bit more on the pricier side at £38 from Urban Decay however I do think it is 100% worth the splurge due to the many different uses!

Bourjoir Little Round Pot Cream Blush

I love a creme blush in the summer months and these beauties from Bourjois give you the most gorgeous summery healthy glow. I've got two different shades, Nude Velvet and Healthy Glow. Both are beautiful and so quick to apply, a quick dabble of a stippling brush and you're good to go! At £7.99, but nearly always on 3 for 2 at Boots it is definitely worth picking one up, perfect for travelling as well as they really are little round pots!

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder

I picked this product up on whim about a month ago, I desperately needed a powder and exams were taking priority in my life. With no time to do any research (blogger probs) I ran into Boots snatched the first one I saw. Now, I was surprised, this powder is perfect for those who want to just bring the shine down a notch but still want to give off that fresh dewy faced look. A sweep of this all over and you’re ready to go! Such a steal at £3.99 in Boots.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Despite it’s rather questionable name, this product does exactly what it promises to do. I’m not exactly blessed when it comes to eyelashes.. don’t get me wrong, I’ve got some, they just aren’t that long or luscious or fluttery or anything at all! I used to swear by Benefit’s They’re Real but after receiving Better Than Sex in a Beauty Box and reading a fantastic review on Meg’s Boutique, I decided to give it a whirl. I’ve never looked back. This mascara will gives me long and thick lashes but with no clumpiness at all, I feel so confident when I am wearing it, it is definitely a holy grail product now. A little pricier than standard hughstreet at £19.00 in Debenhams but I've never tried a mascara that has had this effect on my lashes!

What's your summer 5 product face? Anyone else tried these products before and what did you think?

Lots of love, Elle xx
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Friday, 12 June 2015

Healthy Sweet Treats || Sticky Banana Flapjacks

Hello everyone! 

After moving home from university and not having much to do for a couple of months (apart from save every penny I earn!) I finally pulled out my Deliciously Ella cookbook written by Ella Woodward (check her blog out here, it's amazing!). I skimmed through last night and decided to try out the flapjacks, and really that is all I could make with the items in my cupboard! The beauty of these flapjacks is that they are simple and easy to make, need very few ingredients, which are all very cheap and they are a delicious sweet treat!

The flapjacks are all natural and contain plenty of fibre and protein, they make the perfect mid-morning snack! There are 5 simple ingredients.

  • 3 mugs of oats (360g)
  • 2 bananas (200g)
  • 6 tablespoons of maple syrup (I used golden syrup as that's what was in my cupboard!)
  • 6 tablespoons of nut butter (I used almond butter but feel free to use any, Ella recommends cashew butter)
  • 4 tablespoons of coconut oil (again I used extra virgin olive oil as that's what I had!)

First things first, preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius (fan 180). Now we're ready! After measuring out all my ingredients, and making sure I had everything, I placed the oats into a big mixing bowl and set them aside. I then mashed up the two bananas, it is nice to have ripe bananas as it makes the overall taste that little bit sweeter, however mine were not too ripe but still mashed up easy and were super tasty! Add the mashed bananas, syrup, nut butter and coconut oil to a saucepan. Apply a low heat and allow the mixture to simmer until it becomes a liquid. I stirred my mixture now and again just to make sure everything was mixed in together. After no more than 10 minutes it had simmered down into a gooey liquid, mine had lumps of banana in as I hadn't taken too much time to mash them up. Buuuut I also think this is a bonus as biting into a small lump of banana is extra tasty!

Once you think your mixture is all mixed in together, and of a liquidy consistency, add it to the oats in the large mixing bowl. Make sure you mix the liquid in and stir well to cover all the oats. This is a point where you need to stop and check to make sure your flapjacks aren't going to come out dry. I realised that my mixture wasn't covering all the oats, I added another spoonful of maple syrup and the panic was over! I had measured my oats in mugs and looking back I would now choose to measure out the oats on a scale as it seems that my mugs are a little bigger than Ella's! I had now formed a sticky, gooey, sweet tasting mess! Mmmmm yummy.... try not to eat too much of the mixture before it's cooked!

Grease a baking try or dish and transfer the flapjack mix, flatten it out with a spatula or back of a spoon and your flapjacks are now ready to go in the oven! Bake for around 15-20 minutes.

And here it is! I had mine in the oven for around 18 minutes and as you can see it was starting to crisp around the edges, but I'll tell you the truth, I think the edges are my favourite! I put my timer on for 15 minutes and then had a check, I wanted the top and edges to be a little browner so left it in whilst I tidied up. Once it's cooked, take the try out of the oven and leave it to cool on the side. To be able to neatly slice it up into individual portions you must wait until the whole tray has completely cooled down.

These are perfect to take to work/school/uni, bursting with goodness, very filling and they will keep you energised for hours! 

Have you tried any of Deliciously Ella's recipes? Would you like to? Let me know in the comments and if you use this recipe, tweet me pictures of how yours turned out, I'd love to know! 

Lots of love, Elle xxx

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Garnier Micellar Water | Is it my Holy Grail? | Skincare Review

Hello all, it has been a while hasn't it? I am trying to get back into blogging again. I have countless posts in my draft section and I...