Valentines Ideas Ft. Baker Daysβ™₯

Hi lovelies!!β™₯

Have you all had a fab week so far? I have enjoyed mine .. but let me tell you loves.. I have been SO TIRED!! I am not sure if this is because I am getting up slightly earlier for work, or if it is because I am coming down with something! I have had the WORST sore throat for a few days now that just doesn’t want to budge (grrrrr!!).. as well as an awful post nasal drip.. I feel like I should have a full on cold right now.. but for some reason the symptoms are just DRAGGING on.. I WISH they would hurry up so that I can get better ASAP!!!

Anyway .. lets put aside the fact that I am poorly (even though all I want right now is cuddles and chocolate)… and talk about a VERY special package I received last week!

I was contacted by the LOVELY Emma over at Baker Days.. Now if you are obsessed with Twitter (like yours truly over here :P).. I am sure you would have come across them! They are an online personalized cake delivery service (when I say personalized.. I mean it .. THERE ARE SO MANY VARIATIONS!!).. and they deliver to literally EVERYWHERE in the UK (and worldwide too!!). You guys know how much I love cakes/cupcakes/baking in general.. so to feature something like this in my blog was SO exciting!!

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The thing that really drew me to Baker Days was that they had a cake THAT WOULD FIT THROUGH YOUR LETTERBOX. Oh yes lovelies.. you read that right! I know it sounds absolutely CRAZY … but read on loves and I will tell you all about my experience πŸ™‚

Ok .. so when I first got the email, I checked out their website .. and I was so surprised as to how many different designs they had! There are ones for birthdays, anniversaries, graduation, baby showers.. and especially perfect for this time of year.. VALENTINES CAKES! I can guarantee that you will find a cake for WHATEVER occasion you need! I know I am one who thinks cakes just COMPLETE an occasion.. and to have one that is personalized for that special person is just FAB!

So .. obviously with it being Valentines soon, I thought I would pick one for that… I literally found the MOST PERFECT ONE.. I am such a lover of cute, quirky things, and when I saw this Nutella inspired design .. I HAD TO HAVE IT!! I also personalized it by asking to have hubby’s name on it! And guess what loves.. it doesn’t just come in standard vanilla sponge … YOU CAN GET CHOCOLATE CHIP/FRUIT TOO! For those that need it, they also have a gluten/dairy free option! I love the fact that you can also order larger cakes, and have the option to add a balloon .. imagine what a WONDERFUL surprise it would be having that turning up on your doorstep (ahem.. hint hint :P).

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After ordering.. I GOT THE CAKE WITHIN 2 DAYS!! For all those last minute people, Baker Days also offer next day delivery (You can have a peek on their website for details on delivery information!). Now I know what most of you are thinking .. how can a cake delivered through your letterbox not get squashed/ruined etc.. trust me I thought exactly the same thing!! BUT MY CAKE ARRIVED IN PERFECT CONDITION!! Baker Days have some sort of magical touch (or just extremely good packaging) where the cakes stay in perfect condition through it’s journey to you!!

I love the fact that it is stored in an adorable tin, along with some Loveheart sweets and a card! As soon as I opened the tin .. I knew straight away it was fresh because I could just smell the chocolatey goodness! I wanted to dig right in .. but of course being a blogger.. I had to take some pictures first!! I CANNOT GET OVER HOW CUTE IT IS!!!! I knew it would hurt me a little bit when I would have to cut it!

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So loves.. after all my pictures were taken, it was time to cut the cake and have a taste! Should I be completely honest? I wasn’t expecting the cake to be anything special…Β BUT.. when I had the first slice.. OH MY WORD… I was SO pleasantly surprised!! The cake was SO YUMMY, I could tell it was fresh AND that so much care had been put into making it. I LOVED the chocolate chips.. which almost made it taste like a huge muffin/cookie. I almost want to send every single one of my friends/family members a Bakers Day cake through their letterbox.. I just LOVE the idea.. and was SO HAPPY that the cake itself was SO TASTY!

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I literally cannot recommend Baker Days enough .. the whole delivery process was just so quick, and the cake arrived in the most perfect condition. I also just ADORE the concept of getting a cake through your letterbox .. it is just GENIUS!

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Make sure you check out their website loves… I can guarantee you will LOVE them just as much as me!! They will be such a fantastic gift idea for Valentines day (only 2 weeks to go until then!).. and would be a lovely change to the standard flowers/chocolates!

Baker Days Site

Follow them on Twitter & Facebookβ™₯Β 

I hope you check them out .. make sure to let me know if you do!! I love little gifts that you can get through the letterbox.. I am such a huge fan of Graze Boxes.. so know I will be SO obsessed with ordering these and having them being posted to my friends on special occasions!!

Right angels .. I really hope you liked this review!!! I would only EVER recommend you guys something that I absolutely LOVE myself… and I know 100% I will order from Baker Days again… so of course why would I not tell my lovely readers about it too??

I think that is me done for this post… I really want to make it my aim that I get as MUCH sleep as possible this weekend.. but I am sure you all know my mindset on weekends.. “Up early to get AS MUCH DONE AS POSSIBLE!”… Oh dear.. what am I like!? ANYWAYS .. I will stop babbling on and let you darlings get on with your evening.. HAVE AN ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS ONE.. and guess what loves.. IT’S ALMOST THE WEEKEND WOOOP WOOP!!

I will see you in my next post loves! CANNOT WAIT!!!!!

Lots of Love,

Saira

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog LovinΒ β™₯

 

β‹…How to: Have the BEST start to 2016β‹…

Hey loves!

This post LITERALLY just came into my head when I saw a few tweets about how sad it was that Christmas was over and it was now time to prepare for the most depressing month (January).. more specifically “Blue Monday”… and I just instantly thought what better than to have blog post to try and get us all to feel more positive for 2016! So … I thought I would give you a few tips/some advice on how you can have a GREAT start to the year and also help you overcome those post-Christmas blues!

Remember … Don’t Feel Guiltyβ™₯

Now, I know the biggest thing most of us do is eat WAY WAY too much around Christmas time (I am right aren’t I?)… and most of us feel bad for indulging so much. Hey – don’t feel guilty, you deserve it, I am sure we have all had a tough year with school/work/family/friend/relationship struggles… so you are allowed to treat yourself! The biggest thing is to have a positive mindset when it comes to after Christmas time .. this will help us focus more on bettering, not punishing ourselves for those extra treats we had πŸ˜›

Take Long Walksβ™₯

I LOVE taking long walks especially at this time of year … and it is such a good way to clear your head and really get you focused on what you want to achieve in the new year! Trust me, get up nice and early and find a nice country walk to go on (whether that is on your own/with a family member/friend/dog)… and just spend however long you want clearing your head, keeping fit (walking is a form of exercise loves – bonus!), and just enjoying time away from all the craziness of post-Christmas!

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Get Organizedβ™₯

I am the biggest fan of being organized… and trust me this will REALLY get you feeling happy for the new year! You want to go out and buy yourself a diary (a separate one for your “actual life” and then your “blogging world”)… and start PLANNING! I also recommend getting some funky stationary which is to be used specifically for your diaries.. I don’t know about you but this makes me very happy and excited! πŸ˜€

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Reflect Backβ™₯

Christmas may now be over and we are going back into January .. but now is your opportunity to look back on all the amazing things that happened in 2015.. and I know that EVERYONE must have at least ONE time in the past year where they felt happy. One way to do this is to make a scrap book/Facebook album highlighting your top moments of the past year. This will also really help you focus on making 2016 JUST AS GOOD!

Focus on making ONE THING BETTERβ™₯

Hey .. I know so many of you are thinking up new years resolutions .. but I am the type of person who tries to make one thing better at a time, rather than lots of different things! So, whether that is focusing on bettering your blog/social media, relationships with friends/family members, your career… try not to stress yourself out with too many things on your plate. If you are not happy with your blog… spend however long updating it until it is how you want it. Not happy with your job?… Take time out to find a new one/move departments (I know it is not always this easy though … I spent 2 years in a job I didn’t like because I needed the income .. try focus on the positives.. which for me was the girls I worked with .. and when you feel ready .. go for the change) Missing your friends?… Book a weekend off from everything to spend quality time with them. Rather than trying to improve many aspects of your life at once, focus on one thing at a time… that way you know you have finished something as best as you can… and it is not playing on your mind whilst you are trying to work on something else in your life.

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Plan Exciting Things In Advanceβ™₯

Whether this is a holiday/weekend away.. even a night out with your friends.. If you book this before the new year starts, it means you already have SOMETHING exciting to look forward to! This could even be a sleepover (as I know a lot of us do not have much to spend in the month of January).. so get all your girls together for a night and have a PAMPER evening .. read my post here where you can see how to have the perfect one!

Eat Yourself Happy!β™₯

Guess what guys .. there are healthy snacks that you can have after all those treats that will STILL satisfy your cravings as well as being good for you! We all know chocolate boosts your serotonin levels (dark chocolate is even better).. but other foods that do include bananas, popcorn, any type of fruit (my fave being clementinesΒ at this time of year), almonds and green tea (although this is a drink hehe!). Also, there is nothing wrong with some chocolate if you need cheering up .. we all know how much it helps!

And Remember.. It Will Be Spring/Summer Soon!β™₯

This means lighter days, florals, cold drinks, warm evenings, Bank Holiday Weekends, BBQ’S,… ohhh the list is endless!!! Make it your aim to make Summer 2016 ONE OF THE BEST!

Ok loves.. I literally feel like I could go on forever with this post .. But I think I must stop! I really hope this helps you go into the new year with a positive mindset, and also cheers you up if you have Christmas blues! I liked writing up this post too … I am definitely wanting to do more lifestyle/advice posts for the new year .. I will also have a WHOLE post talking about my blog and what I have achieved in this year .. so keep an eye out! In the meantime.. do let me know what posts you want to see from me in 2016!

Cheer up my loves… we have a whole new year ahead of us where you can make ANYTHING you want happen!

Lots of love,

SairaΒ β™₯

xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog LovinΒ β™₯

How to: Perfect Christmassy Afternoonβ™₯

Hi my lovelies!

Hope you have all had an amazing weekend! I woke up to no rain today (YAY)… meaning I can take my outfit pictures!! I have also been a little busy this weekend organizing our registry office “wedding”… Me and my hubby have already had our “main” wedding day and our Nikkah done (the Islamic ceremony of marriage).. but we are just not registered yet.. so we will be having that done in January next year! Very exciting times!

Anyway….. I HAVE A VERY FESTIVE POST FOR YOU. I have been planning this post for SO long and am so excited to finally put it up! It is how to have the PERFECT Christmassy afternoon/evening, with festive themed baking, drinks, baths and pamper ideas! It is the perfect afternoon to have in the run up to Christmas, especially on a weekend! Eeeeek I am literally so exciting for you to see this post … And I really hope you try the ideas!

So, put aside a few hours, get some Christmas music playing, and lets have the PERFECT CHRISTMASSY AFTERNOON!

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The first thing that I think is SO MUCH FUN at this time of year is to do some BAKING! I am not a huge fan of mince pies (wish I was though!).. so I tend to avoid baking things with fruit in them.. I am however a HUGE fan of any vanilla/chocolate cupcakes! I thought I would make some standard vanilla cupcakes, but make it festive with different types of frosting and decoration. I also added some sprinkles into the cake mix (hehe!)

Recipe for Cupcakes:

Makes 24

  • 225g Butter (softened)
  • 225g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 225g Self-Raising Flour
  • 5 tbsp Milk
  • Sprinkles (optional) – as many as you want!
  • Lots of Christmassy sprinkles/decorations

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Method:

Put 24 red cake cases in muffin pans

Pre-heat the oven to 180ΒΊC/Gas Mark 4. Put the butter, sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Then, add one egg at a time, beating the mixture well after each one. Sift the flour in and fold into the mixture with the milk. If you want to, add the sprinkles in at this stage and mix well. Then, spoon the mixture into the 24 paper cases. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until well risen. Put onto a wire rack and leave to cool for at leas 20 minutes.

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Frosting!

Now, I actually had 4 differant types of frosting. I firstly made some basic buttercream frosting:

Ingredients:

  • 175g Unsalted Buteer
  • 350g Icing Sugar
  • Milk (if required) 1-2tsps

Method:Β 

Put the butter in a bowl and beat until fluffy. Sift the icing sugar in and beat together until it is well mixed. If the frosting is quite thick, add in the milk. Separate into 3 bowls

Peppermint Frosting:

Add 2 candy canes (crushed) into the frosting (make sure they are TINY.. if the pieces are too big, you will NOT be able to pipe (TRUST ME IT HAPPENED TO ME!). Put the frosting into a piping bag and use a medium star-shaped nozzle. Pipe onto the cupcakes and sprinkle more crushed candy canes on top!

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Cinnamon Frosting:

Sprinkle a TINY amount of cinnamon into the frosting and mix well. Put in the piping bag and pipe the frosting on. Then, sprinkle some cinnamon sugar (sugar mixed with cinnamon) onto the top of the cupcake, and then place some edible gingerbread men on the top! I LOVE THESE! The gingerbread men are from TK Maxx and they are the cutest things I’ve ever seen!

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Chocolate Frosting

Add 2 tbsp of cocoa powder to the frosting and mix well. Add to the piping bag and pipe onto the cakes. Sprinkle crushed candy canes on some, and add the edible sugar decorations on others. Then, sift some icing sugar on the top to make it look like snow! ADORABLE!

Green Frosting

I cheated as this was ready made hehe! Just pipe it onto the cupcakes and add the edible sugar decorations on them.

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So there you have it! Vanilla cupcakes with different types of frosting .. these are just some examples that you can try but there really are so many variations .. so get creative my loves! YOU WILL HAVE SO MUCH FUN!

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Wow.. I bet all that baking tired you out! What better thing to do than have a… LUSH BATH!β™₯ Before we start to run our bath, I want to show you how you can make the yummiest smelling body scrub EVER! It is so perfect for this time of year.. as it is a WHIPPED GINGERBREAD SCRUB!

HOW TO: Whipped Gingerbread Scrub

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of demeraΒ sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • Gingerbread sprinkles

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Put the sugars and oil in a bowl, and use an electric whisk until it is a whipped consistency. Add the spices, ginger and vanilla and whisk until they are blended in. Add to a cute jar, top with little gingerbread sprinkles… and you’re done! All set to use during your bath!

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Quick disclaimer: as this scrub has cinnamon and nutmeg (spices), it may irritate those with sensitive skin. I recommend ALWAYS doing a patch test, with ANY homemade scrub.. I also WOULD NOT recommend this one for your face lovelies.. I think you can guess why :P. If you want some DIY masks that are gentler, have a read of my blog post HERE

Β Lush Bathβ™₯

YES.. you knew this would be fitted into our Christmassy afternoon :D. You know the drill guys… lots of candles, face masks, scrubs and some magazines! My FAVOURITE bath bombs to use are Yog Nog and Lord of Misrule.. but you can use WHICHEVER ones you like angels!

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Bet your’re feeling pretty good after your bath right! Now it’s time to put on your coziest PJ’s and make a hot chocolate (check out my blog post HERE for some yummy ideas!)

It is now time to relax… you can put some Christmas movies on and start to wrap your presents!

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That is how you can have the perfect Christmassy afternoon! I can guarantee you will feel very festive after this, and definitely excited for Christmas. I really hoped you enjoyed this post angels… and let me know if you try the cupcakes and scrub! I think the scrub can also make a great DIY gift… I just cannot get over how gorgeous it smells!

Let me know what you thought of this post lovelies! I will see you in my next one!

Lots of Love

Saira xo

Twitter // Instagram // Blog LovinΒ β™₯

Halloween Cupcakes

Hi Darlings!Β 

How are you all? Hope you have all had a lovely week so far, and are all getting in to the Halloween spirit! I have carved pumpkins, bought some decorations for my desk at work, and of course done some baking! I LOVED the look of other bloggers cupcakes, and just felt so inspired to make my own. So, after work, I drove to B&M and Home Bargains (both of these stores are EXCELLENT for Halloween decorations and treats, and everything is super cheap too!), and picked up some bits up for my cupcakes!

Now, I have to admit, I do love baking but it is very rare that I actually put time aside to do it. However, I thought Halloween would be the perfect opportunity to make some really fun cupcakes! They were also so quick to make, and very easy too! Soo… Lets get on to the recipe πŸ™‚

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Also, this recipe made 12 cupcakes πŸ™‚

Cupcakes:

  • 200 ml Water
  • 85 g Butter
  • 85 g Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Golden Syrup
  • 3 tbsp Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 225 g Plain Flour
  • 2 tbsp Plain Cocoa

Buttercream Frosting :

  • 6 tbsp Butter (softened)
  • 175 g Icing Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Milk
  • 2-3 drops Vanilla Essence
  • few drops of food colouring (orange and green)

Decorations:

  • Halloween inspired cupcake cases
  • Chocolate Sprinkles
  • Halloween decorations (chocolate coins, halloween iced toppings)

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Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4. Line your cupcake pan with 12 cupcake cases.

Add the water, butter, sugar and syrup to a saucepan over medium heat and stir gently, until the sugar has dissolved. Once it has started to boil slightly, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Then, leave this to cool.

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After, place the milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl, and add the bicarbonate of soda. Stir to dissolve.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour and cocoa, and then add the syrup mixture and the milk mixture. Beat until it is smooth. Using an ice cream scoop, spoon the mixture into the cases.

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Bake in the oven for 20 minutes (do keep a eye on them), and take out once they have risen well and are firm to touch. Leave to cool.

Whilst you are waiting for the cupcakes to cool, it is time to make the frosting. Put the butter in a bowl and beat until it is fluffy. Sift in the icing sugar and beat together well, adding in the milk and vanilla essence. Then separate the frosting in to two bowls, adding green food colouring to one, and orange to the other. Stir well.

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Place the frosting in two separate piping bags, and pipe half the cupcakes with orange frosting, and the other half with green (or however you like). Then, add the Halloween chocolate coins to some, the icing decorations to the others, and a sprinkling of chocolate sprinkles to each one!

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And that is all! See, told you they were easy and quick! They do look so amazing. I love the chocolate coins so much :), they really added so much to the cupcakes. I really hope you give these a go, they tasted like mini chocolate fudge cakes! I took some for the girls at work, who all complimented them, which is always a plus!

Anyways guys, that is it for this blog post .. my next one will be a very exciting one (well for me anyway :D).. I will give you a hint.. it is Autumn inspired, and includes DIY’s… can you guess what it will be?

I hope to see you there! Hope you all have a lovely evening :). Do let me know if you give these yummy cupcakes a go πŸ™‚

Lots of love,

Saira xx