Summer Berry Viennese Whirls

Whilst at university, when I’m not studying or working, I enjoy cooking and baking to fill my spare time, and when I’m home for holidays, I enjoy sharing my cakes and sweet treats with my family. Recently, I have been experimenting with recipes that I haven’t tried before and one of those was from the Waitrose recipe magazine for Strawberry and Raspberry Viennese Whirls! It was a little messy and I was juggling five different pots and pans most of the time whilst baking four different batches of biscuits but they were sooo yummy and totally worth the work! Here is the recipe and my cooking process for these yummy afternoon biscuits!

The Ingredients:

The biscuits –

200g Unsalted Butter (needs to be very soft)

75g Icing Sugar (sifted), you’ll need extra for dusting later

1 tsp Vanilla Paste

20g Custard Powder

200g Plain Flour

1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tbsp Milk

The filling –

100g Unsalted Butter (softened)

1/2 tsp Vanilla Paste

200g Icing Sugar (sifted)

75g Fresh Raspberries (crushed)

1/2 tsp Lemon Juice

2 tbsp Strawberry Jam

The Method:

Preparation-

Preheat your oven to 180° C or gas mark 4. Then, line 2 baking trays with parchment or a reusable tray liner, like this one from Lakeland. Make sure you have a shelf positioned in the middle of the oven.

The Biscuits-

Beat the butter using an electric handheld mixer for 5 minutes until it’s pale and soft. You can do this by hand, but be prepared for a work out! Add the icing sugar and vanilla paste and beat for a further 2 minutes. I chose a hand held mixer rather than a food processor so I had more control over the ingredients. Swapping to a metal spoon, use it to fold in the custard powder, flour and baking powder, adding a small pinch of salt if you wish. Finally add the milk and finish stirring the dough.

Fill a piping bag with the dough mixture using a star nozzle at the end of the bag, in order to get the swirled effect on the top of the biscuits. I put the piping bag over a medium pyrex jug so the bag stayed open whilst I filled it with the mixture. If you don’t have a piping bag, then using a sealable sandwich bag works just as well. Once the bag is full, pipe a spiral of the mix from the outward edge inwards, about 10 – 12, 5cm diameter spirals. My mixture made more than this, so perhaps I made some too big or too small, but I just ensured I had an even number of biscuits so they could pair up later on. To make the biscuits exactly the same size, find a circular shape that is the right diameter and draw around this on the baking tray liners. This may be easier if you are using paper baking parchment. This will ensure all your biscuits are the same size!

Chill your biscuits in the fridge for 20 minutes before you bake them. Once they’ve been cooled, bake your biscuits in batches of one tray at a time on the middle shelf in your oven. Bake for roughly 13 minutes, but keep an eye on them, ensuring they don’t burn; they can turn in a matter of seconds. They should be golden at the edges once done. Leave them to cool at room temperature for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack for the remaining time until fully cooled. Do not try to fill them until they are cool, otherwise the buttercream won’t set and will ooze out.

The buttercream-

Use an electric beater to beat the butter for the buttercream for 5 minutes, again until pale and soft. Next, add the vanilla paste and icing sugar and beat again until fluffy and light. Using the same method as before, move the buttercream into a piping bag with a star nozzle at the tip. Again, a sandwich bag is a suitable replacement for a piping bag if you don’t have one.

The jam filling-

Crush the raspberries either with a pestle and mortar or just in a glass bowl with the back of a spoon. Add them to a small saucepan with the lemon juice and let them simmer for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl. Add the strawberry jam and mix together. Set aside too cool. Again, don’t attempt to put the jam in the biscuits until it is fully cooled, as it won’t stay put, and you’ll have a big mess on your hands!

Filling the biscuits

It is recommended that you don’t fill the biscuits until you want to serve them, as they can get soft and soggy overtime. However, I filled mine straight away and kept them in a tin in the fridge and they were absolutely fine. It meant they kept some structure rather than being a squashy mess!

Pipe the biscuits leaving a small border between the filling and the edge. Half of the biscuits should have jam spread on them using a teaspoon and the other half piped with a swirl of buttercream. Make sure you put the filling on the underside of the biscuits, on the flat side without the pattern. Squeeze the two halves together, one side buttercream and one half jam. Just before serving, dust with icing sugar and enjoy!

They turned out great and they were super yummy! I really enjoyed baking them as well, even though I was covered in biscuit dough at the best of times, but that’s just because I’m clumsy and am always being messy! I would absolutely recommend this recipe, and I hope you can have fun making them yourselves!

Thank you for reading and I hope I’ve inspired some of you to get your hands dirty and get baking! Have fun!

Travelling with Diabetes

As some of you might know, my boyfriend was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes fairly recently, and whilst he has been getting used to it and learning, so have I. One of the most crucial things I have learned is the importance of being organised.

Needless to say, when you are travelling or going on holiday, planning is key. This is no different to travelling with diabetes. It is so important to be prepared for the worst (not that it’s guaranteed that it is guaranteed to happen!). But, you have to expect it to, incase it does. A couple of weeks ago, we went camping, and to prepare for that and our holiday to Devon, I had been doing some research and reading for people’s tips and tricks for travelling and being organised. Here are some of the important things that I have picked up on. This post is not sponsored, this is mine and Ed’s genuine opinions on what has been useful and products we have found handy in practise!

Supplies:

You need to have enough supplies for the amount of time you are away, and longer. This includes anything that you would use daily, and anything that could help if something goes wrong. For example, a list I made for Ed included:

Needles, insulin, test strips, lancets, spare CGM (Continuous glucose monitoring) sensors.

Other things I found useful to have are any things that you could need if something went wrong. So not only does this include extra supplies (we took double the expected amount) but also ‘non-every-day’ things, such as keytone test strips.

It may seem like overkill, but it is not fun getting to your holiday destination and realising you’ve left something behind – something that would make your holiday more comfortable. For example, Ed left his spare FreeStyle Libre sensor at home and for the weekend he had to step back in time to when he was diagnosed and get the ‘ol finger pricker out again. It wasn’t fun for anyone, least of all him. Planning for these things just makes it more comfortable more than anything.

Hypo supplies:

The dreaded hypoglycaemia. ‘Tis a bitch. Unfortunately, just like 98% of the other problems in day-to-day life, ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. The more you ignore the signs the worse it gets. We took way too much stuff incase of a hypo, especially considering we were only away one night, but I didn’t want to have a situation where a lack of sugar got out of hand. Here’s what was included in our emergency kit:

Glucose juices, glucose tablets and glucose gels. These are good as they are discrete amounts of sugar and can be used to know precisely how much sugar you might need to take and how much you are actually taking. Other things included; Percy Pigs sweets (incase Ed didn’t want glucose tablets, because they are gross and horrible and mean and rank and not enjoyable at all and… you get the picture), full sugar Lucozade (again, see my previous reasoning), Caprisuns and biscuits. The biscuits acted as carbs for when we were camping, as taking a whole loaf of bread with us seemed a bit too Parisian.

These little packets of biscuits are great because they are a controlled amount of carbs! Same with the juice and the tablets!

Hypo supplies are so important, especially if you are going somewhere such as a festival where there might be alcohol, which can have such an impact on your blood sugar levels, causing them to drop rapidly. The earlier you spot a hypo, the quicker you can get the sugar in and the better the outcome. If you didn’t have anything pleasant, for instance you only had a glucose gel, you really don’t want to get to stage of needing to use it. I don’t know first hand because I don’t have T1D but I’ve heard from others that Glucose gel is not pleasant, and to be honest, you don’t want to be in a situation where that is your only option. But if you were, you’d be fine and have to make do! As well as hypo supplies, low carb snacks are also a really good thing to stock up on and take because it can be hard to find something that you can eat without sugar or carbs! Especially if you’re camping or abroad! Ed’s favourites include beef jerky and apple chunks with peanut butter!

Other helpful bits and bobs:

Frio Cooler Pouch

The Frio comes in various sizes including individual wallets and space for 5 pens or 10 cartridges! They also come in funky colours and patterns for younger children (or more attention seeking adults)!

When we went camping it was very, very, very warm and insulin does not like heat. He likes it cold (Shoutout to my boy Will Byers) is true in the case of insulin and we took a Frio cooler, which I will link at the bottom for you. It is a pouch which contains tiny beads that react to water and don’t require refrigeration to keep things cold. This is perfect for something like camping, where you might not have access to a fridge!

Frio Sharps Bin Mini

Here is the mini sharps bin, which comes in either this colour or a bright yellow! You can buy them individually or in packs of three! So useful!

Another product from Frio, is their mini sharps bins. They are super handy for on the go needle disposal, and it they can be emptied into bigger sharps bins once you get home. Trust me, I don’t mind needles floating around in my handbag, until my hand comes out looking like a pin cushion when I go rummaging for god knows what. Still, all jokes aside, these are brilliant and very cheap, well worth investing in one for those moment when you don’t want to carry around a huge yellow bin all the time. When we take the car on holiday, or visit friends and family, we tend to take a normal 1L sharps bin – it’s easier than collecting all the needles up and taking them back loose in the suitcases!

MedAngel Temp. Sensor

Granted, my plastic bag skills need some improvement, and I mean need, but it keeps it dry and working!
Here’s a screenshot from the list of medicines it can work with. As you can see, it is designed for not only insulin, but Epipens and other medical items such as the FreeStyle Libre Sensors. It also has the lists separated by EU and US so you know where to look for your specific medication! You can monitor multiple medications on one sensor, so long as they are all stored together with the sensor!

A really useful product, especially for hot or extremely cold holidays, such as beaches or skiing, is the MedAngel temperature sensor. Ed was bought his as a gift and it has been really useful for the above reasons! This can slip into the Frio pouch, or next to your insulin wherever it is stored, and reads the surrounding temperature, giving you a rough idea of what temperature your insulin is at. It also recognises all the different insulin brands and types as well as knowing their safe ranges, notifying you if they are dangerously hot or cold. With an app available for IOS and Android, it’s a handy gadget to have if you need it. We take a spare battery for this, even though the battery lasts years – better to be safe than sorry. Also, as I discovered only today, it has a GPS tracker, so if you lose your insulin, you can see where it was last and track it down!

As you can see from my picture, we keep it in a makeshift protective plastic bag, so when the Frio is wet, it doesn’t get damaged. If you’re interested on how I’ve done this, just google heat shrinking plastic bag videos, like the ones for keeping carrot sticks in etc. See here! They did a better job than I did! Seriously.

HypoWallet

This comes under a term I like to call ‘Pseudo-hypo supplies’, but the Hypo Wallet is so useful for keeping the juice, tabs and gel all in one case whether you’re putting it in your bag, leaving it in the hotel room, etc., knowing it has everything ready. We keep one in the car, as well as one in my handbag so we always have something with us. The one linked from Amazon is slightly more expensive than what you can find elsewhere, but it gives you an idea of what it contains. We stock up each time we use one of the items in it so we know it is always full. We buy in bulk from Amazon, but there are other places such as online pharmacies that do the same stuff.

Finally, to keep everything together, I put supplies and bulky things in a Frio travel bag, and any food and hypo snacks in a mini cooler lunch bag. The linked Frio is a ready made travel kit, which we have bought before and the bag is really handy. The lunch bag pictured pictured is mine, and is rather girly. But hey, I’m they one carrying it!

https://www.beauandelliot.com/product/dove-lunch-tote/

Thank you for reading and if any of you are interested in these products and want to know more, let me know as I am considering doing a separate post for a couple of the things I listed today. I will be incorporating more posts into my blog about diabetes and how Ed and I are learning new things every day.

Stay posted for more updates and subscribe to get notifications when I post, as well as following my Instagram and Facebook! Thank you!

Also, massive shoutout to Ed who puts up with this everyday and I’m so proud of you!

Here are the linked products from today:

Frio Sharps Bin: https://friouk.com/product/mini-pocket-sharps-bin/

Frio Duo Wallet: https://friouk.com/product/frio-duo/

Hypo Wallet: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/shop/hypowallet

Frio Travel Essentials Kit: https://friouk.com/product/travel-essentials-pack/

MedAngel Sensor: https://shop.medangel.co

FreeStyle Libre: https://www.freestylelibre.co.uk/libre/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwyLDpBRCxARIsAEENsrJS_9dqVH1bNWh25rYrtmdwLe8cxE6QdqsMXu1Yzi4l2eoWqH6hiToaAgXtEALw_wcB

My time on Northcote Road, London

I recently visited London with my boyfriend, and we stayed with some of his family. I L O V E London. I would love to get a job in the city and live there. We visited some friends who live in Battersea, which is home to Northcote Road! This is a haven for not only your everyday stores and restaurants like Oliver Bonas, Franco Manca, Waitrose etc. but small independent stores selling ecologically friendly products and organic healthy foods, including the fabulous Whole Foods.

A couple of my favourites were Hamish Johnston Fine Cheeses, a small store selling so many different types of cheeses! They also sell quirky chutneys and jams, and real honeycomb (which I thought was pretty awesome!). The staff were really friendly and helpful with choosing the cheeses, adding to my knowledge about new and different cheeses!

Something else I thought was pretty cool was The Fish Stall again on Northcote Road. Although the smell was pretty shocking, especially as you don’t expect fresh fish to be on the streets of London, it was so refreshing to see fresh produce being sold.

In a smallish town where I live, or even Oxford when I am around, although there are independent sellers of meats, cheeses, cakes, beauty products etc. etc. it is no where near being on the scale London is on. I described Northcote Road as Oxford on steroids, it has everything that I love about the city, and more.

Going back to Whole Foods, we had their burritos from their cafe/food service area of the Clapham Junction store on Lavender Hill. The burritos were amazing! They were absolutely full to the brim and they had warmed the tortilla up before they begun to construct, so not only did it hold its shape a bit better but it also made the whole experience much warmer and yummier! I would highly recommend popping in to get one if you are passing a store and they offer the service. They can be taken to a local park, or just eaten as you explore the city, although I warn you, they are a little messy!

One more thing I thought was REVOLUTIONARY is The Source Bulk Foods store in Battersea. They are a brand that are all about absolutely zero waste. They sell foods and products in bulk, and you bring your containers/bags/pots etc and you pay for the product you buy. No paying for expensive packaging, and you’re saving the planet too! This place is honestly an incredible idea and I think they would do so well in somewhere like Oxford. They sell almost any dry good you can think of, as well as household cleaning products and shampoo and conditioner! You just take your pot along and you can refill it! This is something I have a good feeling is going to appear across the country (I think lots of brands will start jumping on this band wagon), so expect to start seeing similar concepts near you in the next few years!

So, honestly, I could say so much more about how much I adore London, especially smaller areas outside the city centre, but I will stop here! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my lengthy post about one (amazing, awesome, incredible) road in London, but it means the world that people are reading my content and coming back to read more!

Keep watching this space, as I talk about reusable plastic ideas and how we can reduce how much plastic we use in everyday life over the next couple of weeks. Also, check out my previous post Eat your way to Mindfulness where I tackle the topic of healthy diet and reducing anxiety!

Thank you!!

Imogen ❤

All Shook Up Cocktails!

Hi there everyone! So tonight I’m posting something a bit different, and it’s only going to be a short one.

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Image taken from www.allshookupcocktails.co.uk

I recently tried the All Shook Up pre-mixed cocktails and I just wanted to share how cute I think they are! They only have three cocktails out for sale at the moment, as they are a fairly new brand. But, here are the three they have available!

Images taken from www.allshookupcocktails.co.uk

Flamingo Colada:

This cocktail is great for you if you like Pina Coladas (and getting caught in the rain!) The Flamingo Colada is a gorgeous pink colour matching the design of the can (which is also just the cutest!) and replaces the traditional pineapple juice with Grenadine. Add natural coconut, lime and fruit juices, all shaken together with white rum, this cocktail is a delicate take on the classic and gives just as much of a taste of paradise!

Passion Fruit Martini:

This one is my favourite of the three! It takes the classic Pornstar Martini and adds passion fruit juice to make it that little bit extra fabulous! Shaken together with vodka, sugar syrup, natural flavourings and fruit alcohol, serve with a shot of prosecco on the side, you’ve got yourself a fruity and fabulous Passion Fruit Martini!

Espresso Martini:

This one is my least favourite (not to say it’s bad, by any means!), just because I prefer fruity cocktails. It still tastes great – A take on the classic Espresso Martini, this takes the hassle out of making your favourite cocktail! Simply pour into a martini glass and add espresso beans atop your ice cold beverage and you’ve got the easiest espresso martini you’ll ever drink! With coffee, sugar syrup, natural flavourings, all shaken together with fruit alcohol and vodka… you can’t go wrong with this simple classic!

 

These three cocktails are perfect for a low-key catch up with your friends, or for pre drinks before a huge night out! They would be ideal for taking to festivals, and I’m always on the look out for new and exciting drinks! These three are available in Tesco and independent convenience retailers, best to check with your local stores! At Tesco, these little cans are selling for £1.25 each and until 7th March 2019, they are 4 for 3! These are perfect and, as the website points out, the adorable cans are the perfect accessory for any outfit!

Thank you for reading! If you like this sort of content, give it a like and comment with any suggestions for new posts! I really like posting about things that are a bit different and quirky, and these have been so fun to review! I hope you’re all having a fabulous new year! Thank you again!

Imogen ❤

Skiing Skincare

So, in just under two weeks, I am heading off skiing for the first time ever! Whilst I have been worrying about ski gear, the long journey, and most importantly how to actually ski (as I have no idea!) it has also been on my mind that the harsh cold weather is going to have an effect on my skin and body. So I have done some research into brilliant super strength products and am going to list some below for you budding skiers out there! I am also going to include some of my recent favourite skin care products that I have been really enjoying!

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser – £15

This cleanser has been YouTuber’s and social media influencer’s favourite for several years and a star product for the brand since it was founded in 1995. It is sold in multiple stores around the country, most easily found in Boots or John Lewis, including the respective websites. It has won over 100 awards and has been no. 1 skin cleanser, according to QVC beauty awards, for multiple years, including 2018. Containing ingredients such as cocoa butter, chamomile and eucalyptus extracts and beeswax, this cleanser leaves your skin feeling, smelling and looking gorgeous.

 

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I love this product. I had been meaning to try it out for years, but always thought it would be quite expensive! After looking at the modest price of £15, I thought it would be worth a go!   I am so pleased I tried it! It cleans my skin beautifully, not only after I have been wearing foundation or a lot of makeup, but also from all the everyday grime and dirt that it encounters from just living in a busy city! it moisturises your skin and leaves it feeling baby soft and smooth. I use it with the Liz Earle muslin cloth which delicately exfoliates and washes away the cleanser, taking with it the dirt and dead skin. I can’t wait to try this when I go skiing (not that the air in the isn’t the cleanest in the world!) but with the everyday freezing temperatures, my skin will need a little love, and the Cleanse and Polish™ is the best way to do it!

 

 

Liz Earle Skin Repair Moisturiser™ – £21

Following on from the previous product and sticking for the moment with Liz Earle, I have recently purchased their moisturiser and I LOVE it. It leaves my skin really soft and smooth, the same as the cleanser, and it smells heavenly!

 

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With extracts of Echinacea, a naturally smoothing and conditioning and avocado oils brilliant for nourishing the skin, this moisturiser leaves the skin suitably moisturised without an oily or sticky residue. It is available for normal/combination skin and dry/sensitive skin, and although my skin has been described as combination to normal, I chose the sensitive formula to battle the extreme cold temperatures in the snow. Although I’m not skiing yet, I have been using it over the past couple of weeks, and I have had multiple comments on how ‘glowy’ and healthy my skin looks! It really is great, and I would recommend, if you’re not certain to pop into a Boots and speak to the experts at the Liz Earle counter, as they can advise you on which product might be right for you.

 

 

Liz Earle Instant Boost™ Skin Tonic Spritzer – £15.50

Again! Back at it with Liz Earle! But seriously, this tonic spritzer is my favourite thing to have in my handbag at the moment. The best way I have found to use this is to apply my moisturiser and then whilst it is still soaking into my skin, I spray this four or five times over my face and it seals the moisturiser into my skin and forms a protective layer against harsh weather and air conditions!

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In the snow this will be perfect and I have found my skin to be bouncier and plumper when I use these two in combination! It has a similarly dreamy scent to it, and when spritzing this, don’t hold back! The more you apply, the better! I haven’t tried this over makeup yet, but I’m not sure that it has any makeup setting power within it, so it may not work as a replacement for your everyday setting spray!

Containing organic aloe vera, cucumber and chamomile, it really gives your skin the very best care!

 

 

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub – £9.95

Onto another one of my newer brands that I have recently begun to use; Nip + Fab! This brand is brilliant! I have also used their Glycolic Fix Night Pads Extreme, which you can find here. The Glycolic Fix range features many products with the main ingredient of glycolic acid, no surprise! Now, I have always been a bit wary of products containing any acids, so for example, hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid or glycolic acid. However, I have discovered these products are completely safe for use on your skin! The one thing I do note is to be careful around sensitive areas of your face, such as under and around the eyes, and to generally go quite gently with these products, as I just don’t like using too much of them. Another thing I have found is that the acid tends to clear my pores out so well that it strips them of excess oil, therefore meaning your skin produces more oil. So, around oilier areas of my skin I will only use these products lightly as I don’t want an overload of oil the next morning.

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That said, I really like using the Glycolic Fix Scrub. In a face scrub, I look for two things; a soft, finely ground exfoliant and a result that I can see and feel after one use, making my skin visibly clearer. This face scrub is both of these and clears my face of any dry or dead skin leaving behind a fresh, clean base for me to apply moisturiser. I exfoliate twice weekly and am desperately trying to stick to a continuous skincare routine, rather than sporadically applying products if and when I feel I need them. When skiing, this scrub will come with me and be part of my snow skincare routine, as I feel it will do an excellent job of removing dry skin from the cold weather.

Nip + Fab is widely available, I have found them in Waitrose, Superdrug, Boots and obviously online on their website nipandfab.com.

 

Patchology Restoring Night CloudMasque™ Sleeping Mask – £35

This moisturiser… what can I say? Although it’s called a mask, I use it as a nightly moisturiser, and it is amazing. The first time I used it, the morning after I could see instant results. My skin was more plump, bouncy, youthful and glowing with moisture. When using this, I usually complete my cleansing in the evening and then apply a thin layer, avoiding my oilier areas (I’ll explain why in a moment’s). Then I go to bed, go to sleep etc. and wake up the next morning with beautifully moisturised skin. Now, in the morning I like to wash my face by just splashing some water after using this, as this mask can leave an oily ‘moisture’ residue on the skin. Of course, this would make sense with this being a mask, as it is designed to be washed off I would imagine, although I’m sure I read somewhere it can be left the next morning throughout the next day. Overall though, this mask is brilliant.

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Its active ingredients include Hyaluronic acid, Retinol and Peptide complexes, which combined work towards hydrating your skin, restoring your skin cells and reducing fine lines and wrinkles (if that’s an issue you are particularly conscious of). With a peaceful and dreamy scent of jasmine, this moisturiser helps you to fall asleep and get your skin the well needed rest and repair time that it needs. Whilst skiing this will be great for an overnight fix after a long day on the slopes and an easy way to ensure my skin is ready to go the next morning.

 

Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips – £12

Yes, you read that right! Nipple Balm! So the story goes; the founder of Dr. Lipp (Pontine Paus) had eczema and researched online for the best moisturising and nourishing product and found nipple balm contained this miracle ingredient called Lanolin. This ingredient dates back to 90AD?! and mimics the skins oils and moistures perfectly. So she   decided to create her own nipple balm, which she promotes for ‘Dry Skin, Luscious Lips & Glossy Bits’. Since then, her Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm has become widely popular among celebrities and makeup artists and my attention was drawn to it after I walked into Space NK asking for the lady’s recommendation on the best lip balm they sell, and she pointed me to this! I haven’t looked back since, neither have I used anything else. It is moisturising, glossy, high shine, nourishing… it has it all. I use it as an overnight intense lip balm to help restore the skin on my dry and chapped lips in these cold conditions (perfect for skiing!) or as a lip gloss when I’m wearing makeup, or just simply, as my go to lip balm.

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The company prides itself on 100% natural ingredients, with one sole ingredient, Lanolin. This means there are no nasty chemicals, no acids, no harsh ingredients, just Lanolin.  If you want to read up on this completely natural and miracle ingredient head to the Dr. Lipp website! This will be perfect for my ski trip, where I will probably apply it as much as I possibly can, bearing in mind, the temperatures in England cause dry and cracked lips easily, so temperatures down near -15ºC are guaranteed to!

 

So there it is! My favourite products for the cold, wintery season we are currently in, and the products I will be taking with me skiing to battle the freezing temperatures! Remember, if you are going outside, wrap up warm and take good care of your skin! It needs more love than you think and taking a little extra time to look after it can make a world of difference in the long run!

Thank you so much for reading my blog, and I will hopefully be posting more frequently, so keep an eye on my Instagram and Facebook for when I announce new posts!

Imogen ❤

Fudge & Vanilla Soy Muffins

On a rainy Sunday afternoon, there are a limited amount of things you can do, unless you don’t mind being rained on! So I decided to be very domestic and did a bit of baking. After a little look through a baking book, someone bought me years ago, I chose a recipe for Low-Fat Muffins, except I used full-fat soy yogurt instead.

The Recipe:

Makes 12 Muffins

280g/10 oz plain flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 Tsp bicarbonate of soda

115g/4 oz caster sugar

2 egg whites

250ml/9 fl oz low-fat natural yogurt (I used soy)

3 Tbsp sunflower oil

1 Tsp vanilla extract

40g small fudge chunks

The Method:

  • Start by turning your oven up to 200˚C/400˚F/Gas Mark 6 and ensure the shelves are in the correct place for when you put the muffins in later. This means you won’t need to move them around when they are hot and just makes your life easier.
  • Next, put 12 muffin cases in a muffin tray and put them aside until you need them later.
  • Weigh out the flour, sugar, fudge chunks, yogurt and separate the egg whites, saving the egg yolks if you think you can use them for anything else, or throw them away, as you won’t need them for this recipe. Place each of these ingredients in separate bowls so you can add them easily later.
  • Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl (or an electric mixer if you have one), and add the baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  • Add the sugar and mix the dry ingredients together.
  • Take your egg whites and beat them lightly until they are slightly foamy. Then add the yogurt, oil and vanilla extract. Beat these together until you have a smooth mix.
  • Now, make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Fold the two groups of ingredients together, but do not overmix. Finally, add the fudge chunks and mix them in, so they are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  • Take a medium-large zip lock bag and place it over the edge of a small saucepan (or anything like a bowl, that can hold your amount of mixture).
  • Spoon the mixture into the bag. I find it easier to use a silicone spatula to ensure I get every last bit of mixture out of the bowl, wasting nothing.
  • Take the bag out of the saucepan and before zipping the bag closed, take a rolling pin and push all the mixture to the closed end of the bag. If there are air bubbles, this doesn’t matter hugely as you will be doing this again, later on, to get the last bits out the bag.
  • Zip the bag shut and snip a corner of the bag, just enough to let out the mixture, ensuring that the chunks of fudge can get through this gap.
  • Pipe the mixture into your muffin cases, evenly distributing it between the 12 cases.
  • As you get to the last couple, re-squeeze the bag and move all the mixture right to the corner. This means you will waste as little as possible and get just enough mixture for 12 muffins.
  • Bake the muffins for 20 minutes, but do keep an eye on them depending on the strength of your oven, as they may need slightly more or less time than specified. They will be ready when you can remove a clean skewer from the muffins, without any mixture on it.
  • Take the muffins out of the tray and place them on a cooling rack. I placed some kitchen foil under the rack and then sprinkled some icing sugar atop of them once they had cooled. The way you choose to decorate them is completely up to you.

Here are some photographs of my process and what they looked like at the end!

 

Thank you for reading and I hope I’ve inspired you to do some weekend baking! They taste amazing and I really enjoyed making them and doing something different from scrolling through social media all afternoon!

I hope you all have a lovely week and if you’re back to school or off to university, good luck!

Imogen ❤