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25.6.16

Baking: How To Make Giant Smartie Cookies

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I'm a big fan of cookies. Especially those of the GIANT variety.

This morning I decided to make another popular cookie variation which I know you guys will likely love; lots of giant smarties cookies!

I've been keen to make smartie cookies for a while, unfortunately I couldn't get my hands on any 'giant smarties' in the shops, however I'm questioning whether Nestle even sell these still? so I had to settle for the normal sized smarties.

However, I've made up for that by going large on the cookie base, so you're guaranteed to get a lot more smartie per centimetre.

The main reason I made these cookies is because I was asked to help out a local tea room on their opening day (today) and as my mum is going to be working in the tea-rooms part time, knowing I like to do a bit of baking here and there, she asked if I could help out and bake something sweet for the locals to try during the day.

With short notice and not much time, cookies were definitely my fail safe option, plus who doesn't look a MASSIVE cookie with their tea or coffee? Exactly.

If you need any more persuading - all of these smarties cookies were gone and gobbled by customers in the first thirty minutes, so why not bake a batch yourself?

Here's how:

Ingredients:
  • 135g unsalted butter (melted)
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 80g soft light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 190g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 tubes of smarties
How to Make Giant Smartie Cookies: 

  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees / 325F / Gas mark 3 and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. 
  • Grab a mixing bowl and using either a hand-held or electric whisk, or just with a spatula, cream together the butter, both the white and brown sugar, then break in the egg, add the vanilla essence and mix well together. 
  • In another bowl sift together the plain flour, salt, cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda and then add to the already creamed mixture. This is usually best done in two batches. Ensure to mix thoroughly until a dough starts to form.
  • This is where you will need to add your cooking filling - the smarties! Mix in 3 out of the 5 tubes of smarties and mix evenly into the dough.
  • Now break off pieces of the dough (about 3 or 3 tablespoons in size, depending on how big or small you want your cookies to be - for these I did about a golf ball in size).
  • Roll them into balls in your hands - bearing in mind this part can be a little messy!
  • Once rolled into balls place them onto your baking tray. I decided to use my 4th tube of smarties for pressing a couple into each ball so there was smarties both inside and outside of the cookies. 
  • Allow about 5 cookies per tray (especially for these big ones) and make sure to space them apart from each other so they have room to grow. Believe me they grow big! 
  • Place in the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are a light golden on top. The key with baking your cookies is if you want a gooey middle you'll need to take the cookies out of the oven while they still feel soft and squidgy. 
  • Don't worry - once you leave them to cool they will firm up quite quickly and you definitely won't regret taking them out a minute or two early. 
  • Once out of the oven, leave on the baking tray to cool and firm for about 10 minutes, before transferring over to a wire rack. 
Check out my other cookie recipe (very similar to this one) where I included white chocolate and cranberries for the giant cookie filling

Also I've now got Snapchat so don't forget to follow me on there for live updates. 
My username is: r1ghtupmystreet
xo. 
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21.6.16

Travel: Taking A Wander Around Elounda's Picturesque Fishing Village

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visiting elounda bay and port

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Elounda, is a picturesque fishing village in lovely Mirabello Bay and nowadays attracts people far and wide looking for a seaside holiday in a place which is ideally not too busy, nor too isolated. With a spectacular coastline, shaded beaches, crystal clear seas and archeological interest, there's plenty here for all types of travel-goers.  

This pretty little seasside town is located on Crete's northwestern coast. It's an up and coming luxury retreat that revolves around a colourful harbour and the main square just next door. Elounda is packed with authentic Greek tavernas and friendly bars eagerly awaiting your arrival. 

When staying at the Elounda Village Hotel we were a brisk 45 minute walk away from Elounda's harbour. The walk was quite uphill in places, however Crete as an island is rather hilly so you need to expect some uneven walks! 

We learnt that all of the 4-5* hotels located in Elounda are all located about 30-45 minutes walk away from the Harbour itself as they are all scattered across the Cretan mountains overlooking the beautiful, crystal clear bays. 

Elounda's harbour is known as the "Gult of Korfos" and is a natural, blue lagoon which is bordered by rugged peninsulas and the sandy beach looks out onto the island of Spinalonga, sheltered close by. It can be quite a lively spot, but nothing unspoilt, but if you want more action there is Agios Nikoloas just a mere 15 minute drive away.

We chose to wander down on a sunny friday morning, taking the brief hills in our stride. We spotted a beautiful Taverna on the waterfront, nestled in the heart of the bay, where all the boats were moored (unfortunately I really can't remember the name). Some part of me is convinced its simply called the Taverna and its almost like a floating restaurant bobbing on the water, with enviable views across the beautiful bay and the perfect spot for alfresco dining by the glistening waters edge. 

We sat here for quite a while just taking in the scenery and enjoying the peaceful buzz of market day. We devoured a lovely pizza here, made with the freshest ingredients; most importantly the most amazing melt-in-your-mouth, gooey mozzarella! 

We finished off with a walk among the cobbled, narrow streets, littered with cute little shops left right and centre. I couldn't help but steal away into one of the local touristy shops and ended up purchasing some cute friendships bracelets as a souvenir from my Cretan travels. 

For more information on where to stay in Elounda, see my blog post on my stay at the Aquila Elounda Village Hotel in Crete

xo. 
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17.6.16

Fashion: Taylor & Rani Unicorn Underwear

unicorn never stop believing
taylor & rani underwear packaging
taylor & rani "this mismatch changes lives"
matching unicorn underwear set
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unicorn matching scrunchie taylor & rani
unicorn bralet
unicorn briefs for women

Recently I came across a very unique underwear brand, Taylor & Rani, who design, ultra cute and ultra soft reversible soft bras with matching bottoms.

Basically, imagine a super stylish bra with the practicality and comfort of a sports bra, and a pair of super modal soft boy-fit briefs with the most adorable unicorn pattern. Now I was sold on the unicorn theme alone!

When it comes to underwear, I'll admit I'm quite boring but I know I would much rather a pair of cosy boy-fit briefs over a thong wedged between my bum cheeks (sorry to be so graphic but it has to be noted!). With bras, personally I like to flit between t-shirt bras, plunge and push-up bras and fabric bralets without any under-wiring - depending on my mood, or what I'm wearing etc etc.

I was sent my very own sample pack, with unicorns dominating left, right and centre; both prancing on my briefs and bralet and even on the super cute matching unicorn scrunchie, plus the most adorable "don't stop believing" unicorn greetings card.

Unicorn Briefs - Taylor & Rani (*)
Unicorn Reversible Crop Top / Bralet - Taylor & Rani (*)
Unicorn Scrunchie - Taylor & Rani (*)

Every time I wear this matching set I can't help but admire how soft the material is and I just don't want to take them off. As you can imagine, unicorns are the most popular pattern! Bra's and briefs are made from the softest modal (basically a type of rayon fabric made from fibers of a beech tree) hence why I never want to take them off.

What's even better is that with every purchase your supporting a charitable cause.

Let me expand - basically the team at Taylor & Rani support girls charities around the world, specifically working hard to help young girls stay in education longer, hence why the brand takes pride in being a "brand for girls around the world". So that means with every pair of knickers purchased, Taylor & Rani will donate another pair of knickers to a sister in need.

When the brand started, they adopted a pure focus on the teen girls market, however due to such popular demand from ladies and unicorn lovers alike, they are now going to be stocking knickers sized for women like me and you too - hence why I am able to own and fit into my very own pair!

If you're worried about sizing, contact the lovely folk at Taylor & Rani - I gave Isobel my dress and bra sizes and she picked me out the perfect fit, both top and bottom!

Next I've got my eyes on the Violet Setawa matching underwear collection!

xo.
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14.6.16

Fashion: How To Style Polka Dots

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Black skinny jeans - ASOS
Big Dial Forest Green and Gold Watch - Olivia Burton

Polka dots have been a style staple for decades and personally, have never lost their fashion appeal for me. Since polka dots are incredibly versatile and a 'oh-so cute' and innocent print, it's no wonder this popular print is a consistent summer favourite year on year.

Whether your sporting just a few dots, or assembling a full-on look, its hard to go wrong when your rocking such cute circles. What's even better is that they come in all shapes and sizes too!

I spotted a rather subtle, scattered polka dot pattern on this asymmetric top with layered fabric in my local HM. I thought this would be perfect to incorporate into a more sophisticated look.

I've adopted an all black look; featuring this sleeveless, layered polka dot top with my trusty high-waisted skinny jeans and my tan crossover leather sandals, both from ASOS.

This look fits the smart-casual memo for work perfectly, while toning down with some summer vibes on the footwear front so I can feel the fresh air on my toes to and from work.

How are you wearing polka dots this summer?

xo. 
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9.6.16

Lifestyle: Healthy Alternatives

chocolate and love organic chocolate

award winning ethical chocolate flavours
sea salt and mint organic chocolate

stur liquid water enhancers

coconut water original stur

organic spiced chai green tea

soreen squidgy cake minis


Isn't it great when you can find an alternative food and drink snack, which is healthier, but still tastes delcious?

Recently I've been trying to go on a little bit of a health kick, mainly due to the summer holidays, and with a wedding or two on the horizon, one in particular where I'm going to be a bridesmaid it's time I starting watching what I eat!

I've mainly started by trying to swap out any naughty snacks (like coffee, chocolate, biscuits etc), either by not having it in my diet, or if I've got a serious craving, I'm opting for an alternative which is still indulgent, but a much healthier alternative.

Alongside going to the gym three times a week and making sure I eat all three meals a day (lets just say I've got into an unhealthy habit of skipping breakfast!) with little to no snacking in-between, plus plenty of cups of green tea along the way.

It's pretty much always going to be impossible for me cut out any of my snack favourites completely so I thought what better way than to trade in with something organic and natural?

So, I'm sharing a few of my recent healthier snack discoveries with you in this post:

Healthy Alternative One:


Chocolate and Love is a family owned company which was created by husband and wife chocolate connoisseurs, Richard and Birgitte. The range has more cocoa and less sugar than many bars on the market - even the brand’s lowest cocoa content product is still a sumptuous 55%! 
Additionally to the high antioxidant levels naturally found in cocoa, each bar has the added health benefit of being gluten free, GMO free and completely natural with no additives. 
With delicious flavours such as mint, sea salt and creamy dark chocolate carefully wrapped up in beautiful, glossy packaging why would you say no to chocolate and love
Healthy Alternative Two:


Personally I struggle to keep on top of drinking the recommended two litres of water a day, either because I'm too busy at work to notice I'm not drinking enough and forget to take breaks or I purely for the reason that frankly, I find water quite bland and boring so tend to reach for another option. 

These liquid water enhancers from Stur offer a premium, healthy and delicious alternative to high-calorie, and sugary drinks for women on-the-go – ideal for keeping hydrated in the summer! The range is made solely with natural fruit flavours and lightly sweetened with the highest quality, natural stevia leaf extract. Containing zero fat, calories and sugar and 100% of RDA of Vitamin C in every squeeze. 

So now I enjoy drinking water! I received the Stur liquid water enhancers in three light, fruity flavours; coconut water original, coconut and pineapple and coconut and lime! 

It's great because I can now jazz up my water with some flavour - just like I would with my squash. Also with these handy size bottles they're ideal to pop straight into my handbag for work on my way to work. 

Healthy Alternative Three:

Tea or coffee lover? 

I used to drink two or three cups of coffee a day to get me through the working day and for the past couple of months have been trying to switch out one or two cups of coffee a day for a green tea. This 'Chai Organic Spiced Green Tea' from Hampstead London has been blended with a variety of exotic herbs and spices to deliver a calming and recharging blend. 

Upon opening the box of tea, I noticed these each tea bag is bursting with delicious scents which are good enough to eat, it's definitely a welcome alternative to coffee when it tastes and smells this good. 

Healthy Alternative Four:


OK - let's get one thing straight, these Soreen squidgy cake minis don't really fit into the bracket of organic and natural, however with 60% less fat and 50% less sugar it sure is tempting to tuck into one of these delicious toffee or chocolate malt cake bars! 

These mini cakes, are made by the fellow geniuses at Soreen HQ, who already bring you malt loaf. I think these are a great alternative to those naughty snacks we all love and adore with a much higher fat content. 

So now, there is such a thing as a guilt-free snack - right? (or at least I can feel a little 'less' guilty at least).

What healthy snacks have you been loving?

I'd love to know - pop in the comments below!

xo.
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