Pancake Day: Fluffy Pancake Recipe

So, after umming for ages about whether I should do a pancake recipe or not, I just thought why the hell not (ha). I am so so excited for Pancake Day because I LOVE pancakes so so much. Unfortunately for me.. I can’t wake up to make yummy pancakes for breakfast as I leave for work at 7:30am every morning.. and despite me loving pancakes A LOT, I don’t fancy waking up earlier than I need to for them (I think I love my sleep more, hehe). I’ll definitely be making them once I get home though πŸ™‚

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So… when it comes to pancakes I definitely have more of a sweet tooth (I just don’t understand savoury pancakes).. so I am always drawn to sweet pancake recipes. Now .. let me tell you I have tried my fair share of pancake recipes BUT I have finally found my perfect one! It’s all about trial and error (plus LOTS of practise) when making the perfect pancake… so don’t worry if you can’t get it right the first time!

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So guys .. I’m going to share the best recipe I have found for the fluffiest, softest sweet pancakes EVER. All credit goes to The Sweetest Journey – thank you SO MUCH for the recipe!

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Makes around 20-25 pancakes (depending on how big you make them) – you can half the recipe if you’re not making that many! I made them for all the family so needed plenty.

3 cups of flour

6 tablespoons of sugar

3 teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

4 eggs

2 cups of milk

4 tablespoons of melted butter

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Method

So guys .. the usual .. add all the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together! TIP: I like to sift in my flour.. it means there are no unnecessary lumps!

Next, beat the eggs together, and add the milk, melted butter & vanilla extract and whisk together

Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly add the wet ingredients. Use a spatula to mix together (don’t mix too much as you want to keep as much air in!). Also – sifting the flour earlier means there shouldn’t be too many lumps. TIP: if your mixture is too thick, add a splash of milk.

Now – this is the part where most people struggle. You need a non-stick pan (I use a Tefal one – it’s the BEST).. and also use a ladle to measure out your mixture (so you don’t get too much) and I find this also helps them stay round.

SO – I thought I’d be helpful to give you step by step instructions on how I make each of them perfectly golden and fluffy.

  • Have your pan on low/medium heat and leave for a minute or so to get to the correct temperature
  • Put some melted better/cooking spray on you pan (this is what gives them that golden colour)
  • Use half a ladle of mixture and pour it onto the pan.
  • LEAVE it be for a minute, or until you notice bubbles on the top and the edges starting to rise. This shouldn’t take longer than 2 minutes (any longer and they’ll burn!)
  • Flip the pancake and leave for another minute (maximum minute and a half)
  • I like to keep them in the oven once done (one slow heat) so they stay warm whilst I prepare all my others)

And that’s it guys! Then.. go crazy with the toppings. My fave: Nutella and strawberries πŸ™‚



Make sure to try this recipe – it’s so easy and gives you the fluffiest, yummiest pancakes ever! Let me know if you try it – and also what your favourite toppings are!

Have the best Pancake day ever guys. Or of course – you can make these whenever your craving pancakes (Like I usually do!).

Lots of love,

Saira

Xxx

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How To Up Your Blog Photo Game

Well hey.

How you all doing? Survived Storm Doris? Seriously though .. DORIS. Β The amount of times I’ve seen this name on SM is insane ha. Anyhoo… blog post time, woop. And it’s a good one. Ya know why? Cos a crap load of you have requested it… CHECK ME OUT GETTING REQUESTS FOR POSTS.Β 

So… I’m finally writing a blog post all about my photography & upping my game. I did a blog post on photos when I first started blogging .. but recently I’ve really been trying hard with my photos, both on the blog & my Instagram (totes should follow me on there if you don’t already .. shameless plug.. I’m at @throughtheglitterglass). And you know what I love? So many people have noticed too. I thought I’d talk you through some of the things I’ve done to up my game, and also just some general tips too.. and I hope it helps some of you out!

Camera

Now.. I recently invested in the EVER so popular Olympus Pen because I knew I really wanted to focus on creating high quality images and this one is so highly raved about in the blogging world. And oh my goodness I can see why.. not only is it the most instagrammable camera EVER.. the photos it can produce are AMAZING. So many of you have complimented my pictures since getting this camera, and it definitely was the first step for me in upping my game. If you also want to do the same .. I highly recommend investing in a good camera.. as the difference is crazy. In fact .. I’m also going to be picking up the 30mm lens too because I want those beautiful, blurred background photos! Another thing I LOVE about this camera is the Wifi feature… it means I can easily send myself photos and post these directly onto my Instagram! If you’re not really feeling the whole spending Β£400 on a camera, fear not, because my babe Holly over at TheKittyLuxe uses her iPhone for her photos and my GOD her imagery is stunning. She did a whole post on it too.. so make sure you check it out.

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(Taken on iPhone)

Play around with manual mode

Not gonna lie.. manual mode on my camera scared me at first. All it seemed to do was make my photos blurry and dark.. not a good look. BUT.. Β a little bit of research really helped and now I refuse to use the auto settings on my camera! A few tips I’ve picked up:

  • Lowering the ‘F’ feature when you want a close up for that gorgeous blurry background. This reduces your focal point, meaning your camera will focus on a small part of your image, and slightly blur out the rest. This is amazing if you want to do a close up of something (i.e. lipstick/bathbomb). I also find it helps when I’m filming YT videos.. as the camera will focus on me and blur out the background. Yay!
  • Increasing/decreasing aperture based on how much natural light you have – this helps so much if you are taking photos on a cloudy day. This allows more light into the lens (if it’s dark) or less if you have a lot of sun.
  • Increasing ISO – Again.. this helps if you do not have a lot of light coming through (this is more about the sensitivity of light). Be careful with this one though.. as a higher ISO means grainier photos.

These are basically the only settings I’ve got to grips with .. there is so much more but I’m learning! If you need more in depth info, Lydia Millen did a fab snap story on the Olympus settings (I think you can find this on YT), as well as an amazing post byΒ Robyn.. who has fab tips on getting to grips with manual mode, and her photos are absolutely STUNNING.

Natural Light

I’ve definitely had my fair share of having to photograph with artificial light and natural light .. and to be honest, natural light wins by FAR. Of course, with it being Winter, we get like 5 hours of light and even then for most of the time it horrible & cloudy… so we don’t really have a choice but to pull out the soft boxes. Where possible though.. I always photograph by a window… and even on cloudy days I can faff around with my camera settings and make it work. The best times for me are between the hours of 9am-11am, and 3pm-4pm. And the best tips for soft boxes? Use 2 and extend them quite high to get as much light as possible (rather then up close & using just one).. I find this helps so much with getting rid of shadows and too much brightness. Instead, you get a nice glow. Perfect.

Have a good backdrop

Since I’ve developed a ‘white theme’ for my Instagram… I needed a good sized backdrop. My solution? A double sized duvet/white sheet. I use this as my base, and add blankets/scarves as needed. This means I have a huge drop to work with and can get really creative with my photography without worrying about anything getting in the way/having to crop anything out.

Get yourself some props

Props. Are. Everything. Literally the most important thing ever if you want to up your photography game. One thing I love to do is match up my props with the type of photo I’m taking/what season it is etc. A few of my favourite props are:

  • Blankets
  • Fake flowers (essential)
  • Small trays
  • Cute bowls/mugs/plates
  • Bows
  • Candles
  • Perfume bottles
  • Fairy lights
  • Plants/cacti
  • Cute notebooks

Literally ANYTHING can be used as a prop… and you don’t even need to buy anything extra if you don’t want to – you probably have plenty of stuff that you can use! The key is to experiment! I’m still learning on how to get my perfect flatlay.. but once I’ve worked it out.. I will definitely do a post on it!

(Taken on iPhone)

Get your editing right

Editing really doesn’t have to take you hours..I honestly think it takes me about 10-15 minutes to edit all my photos for a post/weeks worth of Instagram shots. And you know why? Because I do more or less the same thing for all my pictures:

  • Increase Brightness – but not too much where you can’t see certain things (i.e. images/writing). Just enough to highlight your picture and not make it so dull
  • Increase Contrast – just enough to make the darker things in your photo be slightly more prominent
  • Increase Highlight – this gives your pictures a little but of a “glow” – again increase slightly, not too much otherwise your image becomes too bright
  • Increase Sharpness – to make small details stand out nicely
  • Decrease Temperature – this is a personal thing for me because I like my pictures to have a slightly cool tone to them
  • Whiten Whites – this is where my fave app FaceTune comes in. It is especially helpful in making my backgrounds whiter and giving them that lovely crisp look. It has been my saviour since developing my white themed Instagram too!

That is literally the quickest way to tell you how I edit my pictures – let me know if you want anything in more detail though gals!

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OK -I think I have covered everything? These are basically the things I have been doing to really up my photo game – and it has helped too because I receive so many compliments on my pictures recently (you guys are DA BEST). If you have ANY more questions about my pictures, make sure to let me know in the comments and I will help you out πŸ™‚ For now – hope this post helped you!

I’m off sofa hunting with my parents & hubby – so hope you all enjoy your weekend!

LOTS OF LOVE,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog LovinΒ //YouTubeΒ β™₯β™₯

Fall Back In Love With Instagram…

Eugh, I hear you groan. Instagram. Probably the bane of everyone’s life at the minute am I right? Follow/unfollow, themes.. the whole shabang (is that even how you spell it). This whole algorithm thing really f***ed up Instagram for most of us “micro bloggers” (I love this name for us FYI)… we see most of the same pictures over and over again, miss out on all our faves, and our own pictures get lost in a deep dark hole. I felt SO shitty about Instagram for a while.. I just felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere with it and my picture’s weren’t good enough etc… BUT I made it one of my goals to try extra hard with my Instagram this year, and fall back in love with it…

.. And that is exactly what I did. So if you have a love/hate relationship with Instagram.. check out these few points to get yourself back to the love/LOVE relationship.

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Engage more. And I mean REALLY engage

Seriously .. more meaningful comments on your fave posts compared to the loveheart emoji will help you in the long run. How? People NOTICE these comments more, like them and reply back to them (well.. most people).. plus they know you’re not a bot (win). And in turn.. they’re more likely to check out your feed, absolutely fall in LOVE ’cause girllll I bet your feed is lush.. and you got yourself a new follower! Plus.. I LOVE asking questions on the comments section in Instagram.. it’s a great way to strike up conversation too. In turn.. it’s really made me love Instagram more as I love the interaction.. on top of scrolling through beautiful photos!

Join Comment Pods

These little saviours have also really helped me love Instagram so so much. Created by none other than my fellow blogging babes, comment pods are basically a group of 10-15 bloggers on Instagram in a group, where we all post our latest pics, and comment/like each other’s posts. The result? CRAZY ASS engagement on all your posts, staying up to date with your favourite blogger feeds AND chit chatting with your fave blogger girls. Seriously.. if you are not part of one, start one up… you’ll laaaav being part of one.

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Have A Theme

Ohhh… I realise that this is a veryyyyyyy personal preference .. but this is how I fell back in love with my Instagram. Feeds with a theme are just so so pretty to look at, and since creating a theme myself I am loving my feed so much too. There is just something so satisfying eh? I have even worked out how to fit in my outfit pictures with it (seeing as I don’t have the perfect white background), thanks to the app Factune. It has been a LIFE SAVER for me… seriously if you want a white theme… you need that app in your life girl. There are also SO many themes you can have… my babe Jade over at JadeAnnLoves has the PRETTIEST pink theme going on! You can also choose minimal, flatlays, monochrome, colourful.. the list is ENDLESS. But hey, I am not saying I don’t love feeds without a theme.. some of my faves are just a mix of different things which I feel like shows so much personality, but for me a theme has really helped me develop my Instagram and love it so much.

Take Separate Photos To Your Blog

For a while, I only would use pictures that had already been used on my blog on my feed, which is fab if you don’t have the time.. but I enjoy taking photo’s for my Instagram. Seriously, it is so much fun setting up my backdrop and taking a whole load of photos JUST for my Instagram.. I feel like I can really play around with my blogging props and create stunning photos. It also helps me keep up with my theme too, and since doing it I have found myself being so much more creative to really make my photos special.

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Have A Backlog Of Pictures

I guess this kind of fits in with the previous point right? It can be the most annoying thing when you run out of photos to post on Instagram, and can make you feel a demotivated to update your Insta feed. Make sure you always have a few days worth of photos to fall back on in case you don’t get time to take any. Also.. anything you see whilst you are out that would fit with your theme.. snap away. I find it also helps save so much time if you edit them all together too! OH… and my latest trick I have LOVED doing… save a note of all your hashtags for certain things (beauty, fashion, random crap).. I haven’t worked out the snazzy keyboard shortcut way yet (anybody know it make sure to pass it my way, ta), but it saves SO much time when you are updating your feed!

TRY not to give a s*** about the numbers

I had to save the hardest till last right? I KNOW how disheartening it can be when you gain 20 followers, Β but actually end up losing 25… I still do not even know HOW that is possible! BUT.. think of it in the sense that you don’t really want people following you who are just wanting a follow back. You want genuine followers who love your content and make the effort to like your photos and comment… THIS is the mindset I have developed and TRUST me it was hard to get my head around at first.. but just remind yourself of that. Once you don’t make this your priority… you lose most of that frustration associated with Insta. Focus on all the genuine followers you gain.. they’re the ones that matter.

So guys.. there we have it. My tips on beating that shitty feeling Instagram can give you and focusing on loving it again. I knew I wanted to focus on my Instagram this year.. which I have definitely been doing.. and focusing on these points has helped me so much. I REALLY hope they help some of you too!

Are there any things you have done that helped you beat this algorthim? Also.. make sure to leave me your Instagram links below and I will definitely give you a follow. Oh.. make sure to leave me your faves below too so I can check them out.

Sending you all the love guys.. thanks for all your support … YOU DA BEST

Love,

Saira xxxxx