Posted in food

Chocolate Heaven Cake

Who doesn’t like a chocolate cake?

While we are stuck in another lock down, we need a pick me up, and this cake has definitely been that for us. It is very light, and moist, and the flavour is intense and just delicious. With a dark chocolate and white chocolate ganache to fill and top the cake, this cake really does hit the spot when you are in need of that sweet treat.

I have always loved a chocolate cake, and the best part was always that I would help my mum in the kitchen to make one. The recipe that I have used today is actually from Mary Berry, as I have lost my mums recipe and am in need of replacing it as soon as possible. (I haven’t got the heart to tell her I’ve lost it). What I think makes anything you cook and bake taste even better is when you make it with your mum, (or daughter/son), and I definitely think this cake tastes better for me and Isabelle compared to everyone else who has tried it.

So here is my take on the Mary Berry recipe that I have adapted for us, and made the only way I know how. (I only used the ingredients she gives, I didn’t follow her instructions).

Ingredients

  • 250g Self Raising Flour
  • 250g Butter / Margarine
  • 250g Caster Sugar (I used Brown Sugar)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 tsp cocoa powder (Isabelle did 6, I didn’t really mind, and it tasted great so she must know something)

For the Ganache’s

  • dark chocolate (we used the sharing bag of Bournville chocolate buttons)
  • White Chocolate (We used the sharing bag of dairy milk white chocolate buttons)
  • Single Cream (we were supposed to use double but single cream was all we had)
  • Icing sugar (I have no idea how much I just did it by eye)

When you cook and bake all the time, or a lot, measurements tend to go out the window. Usually I try to take a note of how much ingredients I am using but sometimes it is nearly impossible.

Method

  1. Line 2 cake tins with greased proof paper, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Cream the sugar and butter together
  3. Add in flour and mix
  4. Next add the rest of the ingredients, leaving out the cocoa powder, and mix well. I use an electric whisk to do this to get as much air into the mixture as possible.
  5. Add in the cocoa powder and continue to mix until the batter is smooth and airy.
  6. split mixture into 2 and pour into lined cake tins.
  7. put into oven for 20-25 mins until cooked all the way through.

Tip: Don’t open the oven door until the cake is cooked as it will spoil the rise.

To Make the GANACHE

  1. Melt the chocolate (you are making 2 ganaches, one white chocolate and one dark chocolate so melt the chocolates separately)
  2. Mix in 2 tbsp of single cream. You are looking for a thick cream consistency, continue to add cream by tbsp until it reaches this consistency.
  3. Add in 2 tbsp of icing sugar.
  4. Mix well – this will cause the creamy texture to toughen a little.
  5. Decorate on cake. White chocolate in the centre of the sandwich and dark chocolate on the top.
  6. ENJOY!!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, if you have any questions feel free to contact me and ask me anything. I am always happy to help.

Much Love

If you wish to see my car crash of a tutorial please see my video below.

Posted in Diary

I’m Quitting My Job

The time has come that I can no longer take the abuse I get working as a retailer. Yesterday when I was at work something happened, and I am at the end of my tether. In fact! My tether is hanging on by a tiny singular thread which is so frayed it’s amazing it’s still even attached at the moment. Customers are mean, rude and basically bullies. They think they are always right, despite the fact that they are trying to break the law (underage and trying to buy cigarettes/alcohol). Then because I am doing my job and requesting valid ID before serving the customer they think it is okay to swear at me and call me names.

I don’t get paid enough for this. I don’t come to work to be abused and called names. I don’t come to work to be bullied by people I don’t even know. I don’t come to work to get stressed out, and feel unsafe. NO-ONE should feel unsafe when they are at work. NO-ONE should be dreading going to work because they are anxious about what is going to happen when they get there.

The drama that we have to deal with is ridiculous. But what’s even worse is when colleagues don’t keep up the same practises as one another. Confusing customers, and therefore creating more issues for us all to deal with.

We shouldn’t have to deal with this. Just because we work in retail doesn’t mean we are obligated to put up with abuse from other people, who, let’s face it, are strangers. If I walked around and treated others the way they treat me in my workplace I would probably be arrested. If I was allowed to retaliate the way that is natural to me when people treat me like I am scum, I would definitely be arrested. I am a feisty redhead, and if you upset me I can,and probably will over react and flip out. I protect myself and my friends, colleagues and most importantly my family. And if I feel like they are in danger I will help them out and stop them from being in the firing line. But I shouldn’t have to ever feel the need to when we are at work.

One customer (who is banned from the shop, and has been for well over a year), is a particular nuisance to our store. At one point he was becoming so cocky that he would walk into the shop, pick up the stuff he wanted get told to leave, and square up to the staff member in charge. Unfortunately my house mate is also a colleague, he moved in with me in the first lockdown as he had to travel from another county to go to work, so moving in with me (who had just split with my ex) seemed like the most logical thing to do. It was a win, win situation as it meant that I was not stuck in lockdown alone, and he got a roof over his head. This however has had it’s fair share of problems with this particular nuisance. He has threatened to attack my home, because 2 of us live there, and has actually attempted to follow my house mate home as well. I have never felt so threatened and worried for my life before. NO! Not my life, ISABELLE’S.

Thankfully for me my uncle is a member of the police force, so I informed him of the situation which has given me some comfort. However it hasn’t solved the problem at work.

Dealing with the “situation”

The area manager came to visit the store the other month for a security and safety check. There is already so much wrong with the building that we work in, but that is a story for another day.

The area manager was in the store doing his visit, and happened to still be there as my shift began. So I vented to him. I told him how I don’t feel safe at work, how I want to leave, how we aren’t paid enough for this and I can’t cope with the stress, anxiety and panic attacks that comes with working in this place.

Thankfully he is also in charge of safety and security of the staff members at our company, so he listened and saw how distraught I was about the way we are treated and the things we have to be put up with. Physical and Verbal abuse is never accepted by anyone and he wasn’t about to let his staff members leave because of the customers.

He managed to get some security things in place for us. A security tag we wear around our necks, with a camera and another person listening and talking to us at the push of a button. He has promised that if the thieves should appear in the shop again he will not reprimand us for the loss of stock, and walked us through how to bug both head office and the police to ensure that security is upped in the store.

This was working really well, and we were starting to feel much better at work, and within ourselves. Until a new family full of unruly and rude people came to town having been driven out of their previous town. And the problems have started again.

I can’t do this anymore, I feel threatened and unsafe when I am at work, and I am constantly curtain twitching anytime I hear anyone outside my house. I am going to quit my job, the stress, anxiety and paranoia that comes with serving particular members of society just isn’t worth it.

That’s all for now.

Rant over.

Much love xx

Posted in Diary

5 THINGS I LEARNT FROM ONLINE MAKEUP CLASSES

It’s the beginning of Lock down 2020 and boredom is setting in. We can’t go out, we can’t see friends and family. Our social life is failing, so we look for a new hobby to start, or just something to do. This is where I found online makeup classes. Everything you need to know about becoming a Makeup Artist.

Finally I was able to relax a little. Engage my brain in something other than pandemic and toddler life, and be able to do something for me. I got myself my notebook and pen, and got to work every evening making notes, and attempting the skills they show on myself.

Yeah! I didn’t really think it through. You really need some kind of model to be able to practise everything on, that way you can concentrate on perfecting the skill before going in on yourself. So that was fun. Attempting new looks on myself while trying to also watch the tutorials that the classes were giving.

Whilst doing this course however, most of the information given were things that I already knew. I had learnt these things from makeup artists over the years, and just by following basic fashion, and reading the fashion magazines in their hundreds. (I really like fashion lol).

Whilst there was so much that I hadn’t learnt from the makeup course, and that quite frankly was just a waste of time, there were around 5 INTERESTING things that I did learn from this course.

1. Skincare is REALLY important.

The basis of a good look, and good makeup is good skin. And you can’t have that without a good skincare routine. We should be washing our face once in the morning to remove any skin cells and dirt from our faces that may have built up over night. And again once before we go to bed, to remove all makeup and dirt which has built up over the day.

We should be taking care of our skin, so moisturising both day and night is just as important, along with using a good face mask at least once a week.

Having made an effort to look after my skin better, I have actually noticed a huge improvement in my skin. It seems brighter and clearer that it used to. Breakouts are very few and far (whereas before I would have a breakout at least every other week) and my skin has never felt better.

2. Makeup is a form of ART

This was something I hadn’t ever really thought about. We are called a makeup “artist” for a reason. Makeup is a form of art. Essentially your face is your blank canvas and your makeup is your paint. Thinking of makeup as art makes it more acceptable to be experimental and think outside the box. Since changing my mindset on makeup I have been able to do things with my makeup that I wouldn’t usually do, such as using bright colours and attempting to make different shapes around the eyes. Rather than sticking to my norm.

3. Practise Makes Perfect

This goes without saying. The more you practise the better you will become. The more you practise the more you become used to various techniques, and what they do. You will grasp a better understanding of the products and how they work, go on, look etc. And most importantly you will understand and know the tools of the trade 100% better, you will understand what the difference is from one brush to the next. You will be able to look at someone and instinctively know what they need to achieve that flawless look.

4. Products have Expiry Dates

This is something I NEVER KNEW!!!!

On the back of each cosmetic and beauty product there is a little picture with a number in it. This number is how many months that product will last once it has been opened. It is as simple as that.

Once beauty and cosmetic products have been opened like food they begin to deteriorate and host all kinds of bacteria, which is why we should dispose of them once they have expired.

When I found this tip out I looked at all my beauty products and had a really good clear out. What was even better was I GOT TO GO SHOPPING!!!

5. Our Tools MUST be Cleaned regularly.

This follows on from the last on in regards to bacteria. Cleaning our brushes regularly not only helps to maintain their performance levels, but also rids of any nasty bacteria lurking in the bristles that may cause harm to our faces. Harm can be in the form of rashes, or even worse, especially with the eye brushes. So a regular clean is needed.

It is really simple to clean a brush, all you have to do is use some baby shampoo and a little bit of water. This will keep the brushes soft and remove the product from them. It is a really simple and quick step to cleaning your brushes, and whats more, they are dry within half an hour (give or take) so you can reuse them almost straight away!

There you have it, my 5 important things that I learnt from online makeup classes.

Have any of you taken a makeup class? Did you learn something else that you think is as important (or more so)? If so please don’t hesitate to comment your findings below.

Much love xx

Posted in Diary

My Grocery Haul

30th Jan 2021

Today was shopping day. I usually hate going shopping on a weekend but it was needed, as I literally ran out of money last month so hadn’t been able to do a proper food shop.

I had my list with me, and I made sure to follow it to the letter. My budget of £45 (including some cleaning products) was well within my sights with my list, meal plan and the fact that I was shopping at Aldi. I literally was on a roll. I hate shopping at the moment due to the pandemic. You can’t go with someone else, to keep you company, and if you go with your child you get people looking at you like you are doing something terrible.

Yes! I could do an online shop, but having done this before, you end up waiting around for your delivery, and they always turn up at the last minute. And you also have no guarantee on whether the produce you receive are the freshest they could be. Instead I travel to the shops, get in and out as quick as I can, and pray that I haven’t forgotten anything. Or that my eye isn’t turned by something I do not need, no matter how much I tell myself I need it.

This is what I got

There you have it, my grocery haul for a Saturday afternoon. If I wasn’t working in the morning it would have been a morning haul, but this is the things I got to last us a week for food.

This is a typical weekly haul, and the only things that change really are the evening meal ingredients, which depends on what I have planned for the week.

I hope that you enjoyed this article, and the video.

Let me know if there was anything that you also get weekly, or that you forget. We’re all human, and we all tend to experience the same things, it makes us all feel better when we realise that we are all so similar to each other.

Much Love xx