Saturday, 27 January 2018

Celebrating National Chocolate Cake Day | Baking

Happy Saturday lovelies! It has been absolutely ages since I blogged!! Just when I thought I'd gotten to a better place with my insomnia, I finally got my period. If you're a regular reader of my blog, then you might remember when I blogged all about getting my contraceptive implant removed; since August 2016 I have only had one other proper period so this latest surprise appearance was somewhat of a shock to my body and it certainly responded accordingly. I have felt so drained and groggy all the time, ugh >.< I was definitely relieved at first because I was getting a little worried, but after a few days it just wanted it to stop so I'm glad that it's finally over, haha! Anyhow, apologies for my lack of activity once again! :D I know that 2018 blogging-wise has not gotten off to a good start, but I have plenty of time to fix that! And so on with today's post...

If you didn't know, today is National Chocolate Cake Day. To be honest, all of these interesting national 'holidays' and celebrations are a US tradition but I really like how there's so dates marked to appreciate the most random of things so I don't care if I'm from the UK, I'm still going to join it with the occasion, because there's never a reason not to celebrate something! Especially when that something involves chocolate and cake, two of the best things in existence, wouldn't you agree? I spent this afternoon baking and so I thought I'd share the recipe, so that you can have a go at making a chocolate cake yourselves :) I hope you enjoy reading, and if you don't have some chocolate cake in your lives right now, take a trip to the shops and get some! 

I originally wanted to make a Devils Food Cake, because they are super chocolatey and make me think of the iconic cake from the movie Matilda :) however the ingredients was more than I could justify spending at the moment, so I went back to my usual baking tradition of using a recipe from Be Ro. My mom always talked about recipes from Be Ro when I was growing up and so whenever I wanted to make something that's traditional, then I take a look for one of their recipes. So that's where I found the chocolate cake recipe that I used today. You can find the original one here but I'm still going to write it up for you on this post :) 

What you'll need to make your own chocolate cake

200g self-raising flour
225g caster sugar
25g cocoa powder
a pinch of salt (half a teaspoons worth)
100g margarine
2 medium eggs
5 tablespoons of water
5 tablespoons of evaporated milk 
some vanilla essence 

Also you'll need two baking tins, a mixing bowl and other baking utensils for mixing and measuring out your ingredients. 

What you'll need to make the milk chocolate icing/frosting 

This is also a Be Ro recipe & I doubled it, using one batch for the middle of the cake and the other for decorating the top and sides :) Here's the ingredients for one batch: 

1 tablespoons of cocoa powder 
250g icing sugar 
3 tablespoons of hot milk
60g margarine
a teaspoons worth of vanilla essence

Then, whatever you want to add to your cake for decoration :) As you can see from my first photograph, I opted with chocolate fingers and maltesers for my chocolate cake. 

This mixture tasted so delicious and was really tough not to eat! I love how it looks like angel delight too *nom nom* 

How To Make Your Chocolate Cake 

1. Firstly, set your oven at 180C (Gas Mark 4) to pre-heat it whilst you are preparing your cake mixture/batter. Also grease your baking trays. I just use a little margarine for this and coat the entire base and sides a little.

2. To start your cake mixture off, add the flour, sugar, cocoa and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl and stir them together until everything is mixed thoroughly. 

3. This next part is a little messy, but I love it! It reminds me of making crumbles when I was a teenager in my high school food tech classes. You add the margarine into your mixing bowl and rub it in with your hands. Basically you mix and rub the ingredients together, rolling it between your fingers and thumb, until you have created an almost crumb-like mixture. I think it's really fun, haha :) 

4. If you're using an electric whisk then for the next step you can just add the ingredients and whisk it, but I prefer to mix my ingredients by hand so this is what I did. I cracked my eggs into a bowl and whisked them up with a fork, then I added the milk to the egg mix and continued to stir until it was all mixed together. 

5. Now, you pour this egg-milk liquid into your big mixing bowl with the other ingredients, and stir it until it looks like the chocolate paste in my photograph above. Add a few drops vanilla into this as well and give it all a good stir. 

6. You can then separate the mixture as evenly as you can between your two baking tins, and cook for 30-35 minutes. Mine were done in 30 minutes :) 

Method for the Milk Chocolate Frosting

1. Wait until your cakes are cool, then remove them for the baking trays and pop them onto a plate, before starting your frosting :)

2. Add your icing sugar into a mixing bowl first. Then, pop your margarine into the microwave for approx. 30 seconds, stopping and stirring at 15 seconds, until it is liquid. 

3. Now, Add a little milk into a jug or a microwave bowl for 2 minutes, but sure to keep an eye on it stopping it at a minute to check and such. Once your milk is hot, set it aside until needed. The next step is to add a tablespoon of cocoa powder into your melted butter and stir until it's thoroughly blended. 

4. I then made a little hole with a spoon in the centre of my icing sugar, and poured the chocolatey mix in. I added my three tablespoons of the hot milk to it and a teaspoons worth of vanilla essence, then it's mixing time!

5. Keep mixing until you are left with a thick chocolate icing paste, which is delicious by the way! I recommend eating some right away :p haha! It's thick enough to spread onto your cake using a knife. 

6. As I mentioned earlier, I used an entire batch for the centre (which was probably a little too much but I'm happy with my 'death by chocolate' cake XD). Then, I repeated this milk chocolate frosting recipe all over again, and used this lot to spread all over the top of the cake and down the sides too. 

7. Lastly, I covered the sides of my cake with chocolate fingers and popped a few maltesers on top in a random pattern, and ta-da! I have a very chocolate cake! Keep scrolling to see my masterpiece XD (FYI, it's super messy!). 

So, here's my finished chocolate cake for National Chocolate Cake Day! As you can see, whenever I make a cake it never turns out as pretty as I intend. I only had square tins and I wanted a more round shape so I attempted to cut the cake to a better shape without using anything circular to trace around :D and this is the result. I also didn't have anything to smooth down the chocolate frosting so it doesn't look neat but it tastes amazing so I don't mind. Another mistake I made was because of my crappy spatial awareness, I put my cake more towards the bottom of the oven instead of in the middle like you're supposed to. Thus I had some burn parts on the bottom of my cakes, that I had to cut off. Despite all of my baking failures, I had an awesome time making my cake and so it doesn't really matter. Baking is all about the fun and the yummy creations at the end of it. It may not look like a cake from a magazine but it tasted scrumptious! What do you think guys? I hope that you all enjoyed today's post :) Have a lovely weekend! 

Thankyou for reading! 

Tell me all about your baking 'disasters' guys! 


Wednesday, 17 January 2018

How To Deal With Writer's Block

Hey everyone! Here I finally am writing a new blog post to share with you guys! I have been ridiculously unproductive for days now, for a number of reasons, and I apologise about my lack of activity online. Thankyou to all of my lovely followers and friends who have still liked my few posts on social media and sent me supportive messages & comments. I really appreciate it  Today I thought I'd blog all about how I find inspiration for my blog posts when I'm struggling to think of new ideas. At the moment, I haven't been doing too many things that I think are interesting enough to blog about and so I've been finding it a little hard to be inspired to write. A lot of that has to do with my depression making me really unmotivated right now, but it's also due to a bit of writer's block, so I thought I'd share some advice to help others who might be going through a similar situation. I don't know if this post is gonna be super informative or anything, but I'm trying to get myself back in my usual blogging mojo and so I'm gonna write it up anyway, haha! I hope that you enjoy reading and that my post is helpful :) 

How To Deal With Writers Block


Seriously, Pinterest is wonderful for finding some inspiration! If you've never used it before, it's a social media website that allows people to share photos and videos which can also be linked back to websites and blogs for you to find the relevant information you are looking for. You can make folders or 'boards' and save ('pin') anything that takes your fancy into them. Pinterest is a great website if you're a crafter or creative person, because you can find all sorts of recipes, artwork tutorials, knitting patterns, wherever your particular interests lie, there's gonna be something for you on Pinterest. And the same goes for bloggers! Many bloggers share their posts onto Pinterest, myself included, so if you have a search you'll come across all sorts of content from a variety of niches. There's lots of blog post ideas lists and content on there to help you out when you need some new ideas, and I find it very useful when I'm struggling to come up with new post ideas. 

Read Other Blogs

This really should have been the number one tip on my list, because there is nothing that's going to help inspire you more than reading other bloggers work :) If you're a blogger yourself, you should be reading other blogs anyway, to connect with your fellow bloggers, to make friends along the way and also because you can't just not read any blogs but expect people to read yours! Reading other people's blog posts always helps me to come up with similar and also completely new ideas for my own blog! You can also keep an eye out for any posts that share a list of blog post ideas like the kind I mentioned earlier, or other posts that are like the one I've written today that can give you some tips on how to come up with post ideas. Websites such as Bloglovin' allow you to search for topics so that you can find bloggers that share about the things that you're interested in :) 


Do you guys remember having to create mind maps, or spider diagrams as I used to call them, back when you were at school? My teachers used to love making us draw them for so many things, and it was definitely a little annoying for me at the time! However now that I'm not being forced to draw them with my classmates during the dreaded group activities, or for making a poster about literally everything I was taught (my high school wasn't great, haha!), I go back to them whenever I need to brainstorm ideas. I like to get a big piece of paper and create branches off my 'blog ideas' title for the different categories of posts that I want to write about. I note down literally anything that pops into my head because you never know when it might be the perfect time for you to blog about it. I will search through Pinterest and other social media sites and add to my spider diagram as I do.

I even put together a spider diagram for this post, and for brainstorming 101, my various arrows and sections included: write down your preferred blog topics (e.g. geeky, health, beauty), have you been anywhere lately and taken some photos?, do you have anything that you can review (a restaurant you've visited, a movie you've recently watched, something you got for Christmas maybe?, etc.), are you looking forward to something that's not happened yet? why not share about how you're preparing for it?, are there any topics that you can share your experience of or give advice about?, why not make something (arts and crafts, recipes, homemade and 'life hack' posts), if you're really stuck for ideas why not answer a tag or create your own?. Then branching off all of these points, I have the ideas that I've come up with. I hope that sharing what I've personally written will be helpful :) Let me know in the comments! 


Tumblr is another website that I find inspiring when it comes to blog post ideas. Like Pinterest, it's a website where people can share pictures and videos, but it's so much more than that. It's full of fandoms and people with lots of similar interests sharing with one another, and I just get a lot of ideas when I'm browsing through it. It doesn't just inspire me when it comes to blogging, but just in general. It highlights me to a lot of small businesses and artists work, it gives me ideas for making and baking, for my nature photography hobby too. It links me to interesting articles and photo challenges and writing challenges, and I really enjoy it! If I'm inspired to go out and take new photographs, then I usually want to blog all about it too so that's great, I am practicing self care doing something that I love, getting out into the fresh air and also getting an interesting blog post out of it. Even though social media websites have their bad points (ugh, don't we all know it!) but I do get a lot of inspiration for my blog through tumblr and other platforms that I use such as Instagram and Twitter. How about you? Do you get ideas whilst browsing through your social media feeds? 

Blogging Books 

I wasn't sure whether to include this one because I actually only have one blogging book, but I think it's a great little book and so I thought I'd mention it and also how it's made me want to look into getting more books in the future. Do any of you guys have a blogging ideas book? The book that I own is called 365 Blog Topic Ideas and it's by Dana Fox. I bought this book mostly out of curiosity when I first started blogging because I wanted to see what it would be like and what sort of posts it would suggest. I haven't used any of the topics out of it yet but I write notes on my pages with ideas that the suggested topic has given me, and I like that it's always there with inspiration if I'm ever really really struggling to come up with a post. I do think that some of the suggestions seem like ones that have been mentioned already in the book but with a slightly different wording, however all it all I think it's useful. Plus, I'm sure that there's lots of other books out there that are like this one so  be sure to shop around when choosing something for yourself. I definitely think that they will help you think of something when you're dealing with writer's block. 

Keep an inspiration notebook

I wanted to end my post with an idea that isn't going to be something that you can use if you've got a case of writer's block right now, but I'm including it to give some advice on something that is very helpful for me, and I know a lot of fellow bloggers have an inspiration/idea notebook too. I take a small notebook with me whenever I go somewhere so that I can have it handy to jot down any blog related ideas as soon as they pop into my head. That way, I don't risk forgetting them or add them to my phone's note section and then forget about it. Inspiration is everywhere when you're out and about, so it's a great practice to jot down an idea whenever it hits you. I always refer to my little blogging inspiration notebook whenever I'm unsure what to blog about and also sometimes at the beginning of the month when I'm planning my posts. I occasionally keep it next to me too when I'm watching TV or movies so I can write ideas down then too :) 

So, here are my tips for how you can deal with writer's block and find inspiration for new blog post ideas. I hope that it was been a helpful read and that I haven't rambled on too much, haha! I will have a Funko Pop! Vinyl figure post coming up on my blog next so be sure to check back for that soon :) Tomorrow I'll be hanging out with my best friend for the first time in what feels like forever. We are sticking to our usual date routine and going to the cinema, followed by Frankie's & Benny's. I can't wait to see her! I hope you've all had a lovely week so far lovelies, and I hope that your weekends' are fabulous too. 

Thankyou for reading! 

Are there any ways that you find blog post inspiration? 
I'm always looking for new suggestions! 

Keep up to date with me by following my social media!


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Another Kawaii Haul: Kuma Crafts

Hi guys! How freezing is it today!? I usually never wear socks indoors but I'm finding that lately it is a must because my feet are so cold even when I'm in bed! Today though, I have felt like putting gloves on despite the fact that I spend pretty much the majority of my life indoors. It's just ridiculous >.< However before I get distracted complaining about the weather, on with today's post! I received this order a month or so ago, but because of sorting my bedroom out for decorating and all of the Christmas Time festivities and such, I decided to wait to show you guys. It was really tough, because I am so excited about the wonderful kawaii products that I got from Kuma Crafts! They are so so pretty and I'm super impressed. Anyhow, enjoy! 

Kuma Crafts Kawaii Haul

This fabulous store was first brought to my attention over on Tumblr, which to be honest is where I am highlighted to most of the amazing kawaii artists (and their shops) that I buy stuff from :) Tumblr is really wonderful for that! Especially for finding the less well known artists, and I like to support small businesses. Tumblr is full of so many talented and creative people, and it's one of my favourite social media websites. What initially attracted me to the super cute Canadian store, Kuma Crafts, is all of the alpacas! Plus they make a lot of adorable cat products too, so I was literally in love with the store after a few minutes of browsing! 

As you can imagine it took me a while to settle on just a few items because I honestly wanted one of everything they make, haha! After adding so many items to my cart and then having to sort through which ones I wanted the most, whilst keeping to my budget as best I could, I eventually chose three delightful products. Here's what I bought... 

Kuma Crafts Kawaii Haul

Kuma Crafts Kawaii Haul


I bought two necklaces and a t-shirt, and they also threw in the sweetest little jewellery cleaning cloth for free (I think that's what it is anyway!). I really really adore the design of Kuma Craft's characters; they remind me so much of Amuse plushies and we all know how much I love those, haha! If you didn't know already, I have been obsessed with alpacas since I was a teenager and it is amazing that there's so many kawaii versions of them being created by artists. Thankyou guys for fulfilling a mighty need of mine, to fill my life with all the chibi alpacas XD 

This super sweet 'Baby Alpaca Pendant' was the item that I saw on Tumblr and that sold me right away! I went onto the website determined to purchase this, and the other items were just delightful addictions! I love this tiny alpaca with it's pointed ears and the most adorable eyelashes and pink ribbon. I love how it's woolly body resembles a lamb so much too! I really like it's simplistic design with a minimal colour scheme, because it makes it really stand out in my opinion. I like that the pendant is small to because sometimes you just want to wear a nice little necklaces to complete an outfit rather than a big flashy one! Not that I mind those kinds of necklaces, I actually prefer them, but this was a nice change :) 

The caption on the Kuma Craft website says 'Now you can have your very own alpaca friend to keep you company whenever you go!' and that's such so cute! The pendant is available in light pink, light brown or white (the one I picked), and comes on an 18'' chain which I was very glad about because I prefer long chains. It was $10 but it's fantastic quality and unique so I think that is a really good price! It was a nice surprise to find the little bow charm detail on the back of the chain, it's pretty. 

Kuma Crafts Kawaii Haul

I make an excitable 'squeee' sound literally everytime I see this necklace, because I think that the little cat's face is beyond adorable :) It's such a eye-catching design, with it's bold detailing and bright colours! It's beautifully-crafted out of acrylic, and I really like how it's chunky and looks like it won't break easily. Even though it's a Halloween product, I will happily rock it all year round... I mean, who doesn't love an adorable kitty sitting in a pumpkin with the most cheerful expression on it's face ever!? Just looking at it makes me happy! Almost forgot to mention how much I like that the kitten is wearing the top of the jack-o-lantern on it's head like a hat; the cutest detail ever! 

I think that the gem detailing on the cheeks of both the cat & the jack-o-lantern is lovely, and makes the necklace stand out just that little bit more! I'm pretty sure that the photograph on the website showed these crystals as purple, but I like the orange ones much better so I don't mind that they are different :) In my opinion, they look prettier than the purple ones. I wasn't sure about the gold chain because I'm really not a huge fan of gold. I always go for silver jewellery, however the gold goes really well with the orange theme of this necklaces :) This necklace is called 'Pumpkin Surprise' and it's unfortunately out of stock because it's not Halloween anymore, but if you're interested in getting one for yourself, you should check back in Autumn later this year to see if they have it back in stock! It was more pricey than the other necklace I bought, at $22 but you're paying for the design of it and it's totally worth the price. 

Kuma Crafts Kawaii Haul

Here's a look at what my new alpaca tee looks like on :) I always get a little worried when I'm going through the clothing sections on websites for the first time because I will end up coming across something I really want, only to discover that they didn't think about their plus size customers and thus they are not available in sizes that cater for everyone! So you can imagine how pleasant it was when I spotted this tee and found out that there's a 2X and a 3X available. It's so tough to find kawaii clothing when you're plus sized and it really sucks, but yay! I now have these amazing alpaca t-shirt in my wardrobe! 

I thought it was very awesome design, incorporating all three colour variations of the 'Baby Alpaca', these are the colours that I mentioned earlier when taking about the alpaca pendant. What I like most is that the print is big and the arrangement of it's design means that it utilises so much of the space on the tee. I also love how each of the alpaca's have a different facial expression. I don't own many coloured clothing so it is a nice change to have a sky blue tee, and sky blue is one of my favourite colours too! The material used is soft and cosy, and overall it's just a brilliant product! 

Oh, and the shirt is usually $25 but it's reduced to $15 so go grab one for yourselves whilst it's still reduced! 

Kuma Crafts Kawaii Haul

I am really happy with my entire haul from Kuma Crafts, and I can't wait to shop there again in the future. Altogether, including postage & packaging, I paid a little over £40 and as far as I can remember, I didn't get charged a handling fee by customs, but I'm not 100% about that because it was ages ago and I order a lot of stuff online! Something that I loved about my order was how pretty the presentation of my items was. I really like the pinky-lilac display cards for the necklaces! What do you think of the products I picked? I hope you've all enjoyed this post ^.^ 

Thankyou for reading! 

Have you bought anything cutesy lately? 

Can you recommend me any other kawaii stores that you like?

I'd love to hear about anything that you've bought lately online & what you thought about it!

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