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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Best Pool Floats of Summer 2017

There's no denying that creative and unique pool floats are the big thing of the summer. I know I for one, am obsessed with them and have already started a quickly growing collection. My mermaid tail, which I have to admit is one of the best floats I've found so far was a massive hit on social media so I wanted to put together a post of all the best floats I can find so you can all get ready for your summer holidays.

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Monday, 17 July 2017

Things no one told me about getting engaged...

If you read my previous post about my blogging break, or follow me on any kind of social media, you will know that in April, Luke and I got engaged. It was partly a shock and partly not. I knew it was coming at some point this year, but at that very moment, I could not have been more surprised to see him down on one knee. I genuinely thought he’d fallen over!

As I’m the first one of my close friends to get engaged, I didn’t really know how I would feel or what to expect. I was sat on the plane earlier this week going to work in Amsterdam and it got me thinking about everything I’ve thought and felt in these last few months and that’s when I decided to write it all down, particularly the things no one told me…


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Saturday, 8 July 2017

Why my life has been so crazy this year

In three years of blogging, I've never had a big break from it. I truly love it, from coming up with the ideas, writing everything that comes into my head, and of course sharing it with everyone on my social channels. Without my blog, I feel like a part of me is missing, but sometimes, life gets in the way. This time, it was for a long time!

I feel like I've been pretty manic all this year to be honest so I wanted to get everything off my chest as things are slowly beginning to calm down and reflect on the last 6 months. 
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Monday, 29 May 2017

M&M Cookie Dough Bar Recipe

If you’ve followed any of my recipes before, you’d know they are usually very very simple, because my skills in the kitchen don’t really go beyond shoving everything in a bowl and putting it in the oven. That being said, as simple as these recipes might be, they always turn out delicious so who needs a crazy complicated recipe anyway?!

These M&M cookie dough bars were an instant winner when I first made them so it’s definitely a recipe I’ll be trying again. They’re soft, slightly gooey, not quite a cookie but not quite cake, the perfect in between.



M&M Cookie Cake Bars


Ingredients:
115g cup unsalted butter, melted (I used Stork)
1 large egg
175g light brown sugar
150g plain flour
1 sharing bag of M&Ms
A small bag of chocolate chips

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tin with tinfoil or baking paper

In a large bowl melt the butter, for about 1 minute on high power, or melt in a saucepan on the heat

Leave it to cool slightly before adding the egg otherwise it will scramble it. Add the egg and brown sugar and whisk until smooth

Add the flour and stir until combined but don't overmix

Stir in ¾ of the M&M'S and chocolate chips

Pour the batter out into tin, smoothing the top with a spatula

Evenly sprinkle the rest of the M&M'S and chocolate chips over the top

Bake for about 25 to 28 minutes (I baked 26 minutes), or until done. Insert a cake tester or knife and if it comes out clean with no batter (as with a cake), the bars are done. The bars will firm up as they cool down so don’t worry if they’re soft when they come out of the oven

Writing this now is making me crave these! Let me know if you give them a go yourself!

Love Lauren xx


M&M Cookie Cake Bars

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Sunday, 28 May 2017

Homemade Iced Bun Recipe

I'm going to start this recipe off by saying IT IS NOT EASY. I found this online with a big ginormous title saying 'Easy Iced Buns'. I was completely duped because they were not easy, and they took a looooong time. But, but but but, when they were finally done, they did taste amazing.

So if you have the patience, keep reading!

Homemade Iced Bun Recipe


Ingredients
500g white bread mix - this was my first mistake - I bought bread flour, not bread mix... back to the shop I went. BUY BREAD MIX!
100g caster sugar
1 egg
350g icing sugar
Sprinkles and food colouring

Instructions

Pulse together the bread mix and sugar in a food processor or table-top mixer. While the motor is running, add the egg and about 250-300ml lukewarm water, until a soft dough is formed. This may have been my second mistake, because I was lazy and didn't use a mixer, I did it by hand. Which was okay, but I'll be using a mixer next time!

Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth, about 5-10 mins. What the original recipe doesn't tell you, is that the mixture is sooooo wet at this stage its virtually impossible to knead. I made the biggest mess ever, but still, I tried.

Leave in an oiled bowl, covered with oiled cling film, in a warm place until doubled in size – about 1 hr.

Divide into 20 even-sized pieces, shape each into a sausage and place on an oiled baking tray. This was my biggest issue as the dough was sooo wet I found it impossible to shape into anything sausage like so I ended up just dumping what I could on to the tray. In hindsight, I should have added more flour or less water to make the mixture more manageable - we live and learn!

Cover with oiled cling film and rise until doubled in size again. Okay so ours didn't double in size, and to be honest we were both bored and hungry by this stage so they went into the oven after rising a little. I'm a bad baker, I know.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Remove film and cook buns on top shelf for 8-10 mins, until golden. Golden, I burnt ours...

Decorate when completely cool (otherwise the icing will melt and run off and you'll end up in a big sticky mess). To decorate, mix icing sugar with a little water until stiff but spreadable – add food colouring, if you want to sass them up and sprinkle them like you've never sprinkled before

So, in all honestly, my iced buns were a little disastrous, but mainly because I didn't read the recipe in advance and was being extremely inpatient when it comes to proving. As they still tasted good even with me messing up almost every step, the perfectionist in me wants to try them again and do it properly this time because they'll be sooooo good if done properly... I'll keep you updated.

If you're brave enough to try this recipe, let me know, I want to see photos!!!

Good luck!

Love Lauren xx

Homemade Iced Bun Recipe



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