Monday, 22 May 2017

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Everyone love cookies, especially when they're soft, chewy and full of chocolate. With so many people following a vegan and dairy free diet at the moment I had a go at testing my very own recipe and baking some of everyone's favourite cookie, the chocolate chip. This recipe is super simple and it takes no time at all to whip up a batch, so it's really handy to have if you have people coming over. I really hope you enjoy baking these and sharing with friends and family. P.S Don't forget to serve with the traditional glass of milk (almond or soy of course). I also have another exciting cookie recipe coming up which has been inspired by everyone's favourite mythical creature... any guesses what it could be? 

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

To make the vegan chocolate chip cookies you'll need:

100g  vegan butter/spread
100g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
150g self -raising flour
75g dark (vegan) chocolate cut up into small shards or you can use chocolate drops. 

How to bake these delicious vegan chocolate chip cookies:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190c or Gas mark 5 and line your baking tray with grease proof paper. 
  2. Measure the butter and sugar into a medium sized mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Add the vanilla extract and the vegetable oil until mixed well.
  3. Mix in the flour and add in the chocolate, if you're finding it hard to mix, use your hands to make the dough come together. Then pop the bowl into the fridge for 15 minutes. 
  4. Spoon big teaspoons of the mixture onto your baking tray. This recipe should make around 8-9 big cookies or 20 smaller ones.
  5. Then put them into the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Once out of the oven leave the cookies to cool on the tray for 10 minutes. 
  7. These cookies should last for up to a week in an airtight tin but I doubt they'll last that long!
Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

City Guide: Edinburgh

Earlier on in the year Dan and I booked our trip to Edinburgh, it was my first time ever going to Scotland and in the past I think I've only ever been as north as Yorkshire! I'd been scouring Pinterest and lots of blogs over the last few months to find all of the best places to go, plus whilst we were there we made some discoveries of our own! I really love putting these city guides together so I really hope you enjoy this, I'd love to hear if you had any recommendations for me to add for a possible future trip too. 

Civerinos Edinburgh
Civerinos Edinburgh

It'll come as no surprise that I love pizza, so of course I had to try what Edinburgh had to offer and I was not let down. We ordered a Margherita and a big bowl of fries, both of which were super delicious and fuelled us for the rest of the afternoon. The whole menu was mouth watering, not only do they have big tasty pizza's but salads, pasta and sides galore! The people on the table opposite us had little pillows of cinnamon doughnuts covered in icing sugar, with Nutella and freshly whipped cream on the side. They looked incredible, but we were just too full to fit them in! If I ever go back to Edinburgh I'll be sure to try them.

Paradise Palms Edinburgh
Paradise Palms EdinburghParadise Palms Edinburgh

Paradise Palms:
This was the last stop of our trip before heading back to the airport to go home. A completely bonkers bar, serving a fully vegetarian menu throughout the day. The ceiling was covered with stuffed toys and old school camera's hanging down, every nook and cranny was filled with something completely random. Don't let the idea of a vegetarian menu fool you into thinking it's healthy because it was filled with all of your junk food favourites! Nachos, burgers, Sunday roasts and as many indulgent sides you can think of. I can imagine that this place gets pretty wild once the sun has set...  

The Pantry Edinburgh
The Pantry Edinburgh

The Pantry:
Dan and I both agree that The Pantry might have been one of our favourite places to eat during the entire trip. It was perfect for me as there were lots of vegetarian options, and if you get there before 11:30am you can have a fry up made with plenty of locally sourced ingridients, or a V-fry if you're a veggie like me. If you've not got much time, there were plenty of homemade cakes and large range of teas to pick from! Plus it's located a road away from the famous Circus Lane, so it's the place to go before getting the perfect Instagram shot on the cutest road in Edinburgh. 

Love Crumbs EdinburghLove Crumbs Edinburgh
Love Crumbs Edinburgh

Love Crumbs:
Nearly everyone I spoke to recommended Love Crumbs to me and I can see why! It wasn't quite what I was expecting but very cute nonetheless. I loved that there was a little reading nook by the window, perfect for university students trying to catch up on work. The cake was great, but the stand out thing for me was their apple juice! It might be the best I've ever had. We arrived at about 3pm on a Saturday afternoon and it was pretty busy so you might want to head down a bit earlier if you want to secure a table!  

Life Story EdinburghLife Story Edinburgh
Life Story EdinburghLife Story Edinburgh

Life Story:
If you're hoping to do a spot of shopping in Edinburgh I would recommend visiting Broughton Street, there's quite a few nice independent shops in the area and on the corner is Life Story. The shop is practically made for Instagram and sells interior lovers favourite brand HAY. It's the perfect place to pick up gifts for friends or a beautiful card for someone special. Interested? You'll be happy to know that it's also online (opening 19th May), so you can shop all of the Scandi inspired goodies until you drop! 

Curiouser and Curiouser Edinburgh

Curiouser and Curiouser:
I was on the hunt for some birthday cards to add to my every growing collection and this shop was just up the street from Life Story. I loved looking at all of the super cute cards they had, and I finally settled on a couple to buy but I could have easily bought LOADS. I really enjoyed it in here as they sell one of my favourite party/gifting brands Meri Meri, I fell in love with a little pom pom garland. They also had some gorgeous smelling candles in here too! 

The Brotique Edinburgh
The Brotique Edinburgh

The Brotique:
On our way into town one day, we discovered The Brotique, as they put it it's "a treasure trove of goods for the man that has everything." With a room filled with Men's skincare, hair products and fragrances I was highly impressed, it's not often a big space is filled like that with Men's 'beauty' products. If that wasn't enough, there's an old school Mario Kart game set up, a wall filled with the coolest books, plus a hand-picked clothes that fit the style of the shop beautifully. 

And a few other honorable mentions....:  The National Museum of Scotland was amazing, we spent a lot of time here one day! We even left for lunch (at Civerinos) and came back. Henderson's Vegan restaurant is the perfect place for the vegan in your life, or if you just fancy having a meat free day! I'd highly recommend trying the 'playful platter' we loved the herbed cashew cream cheese. Mary's Milk Bar is apparently the place for the best ice-cream in town. Finally The Milkman for a cosy tea spot, and they even stock my favourite chocolate teacakes, homemade caramels and peanut butter cups. 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

April Favourites

I've not done one of these for a very long time, so I thought this weeks blog post could be a Spring/April favourites! There's no theme to this favourites, just things I've been loving lately. If you want to see a few more of my beauty obsessions why not take a look at my holy grail beauty products post I did recently? Enjoy! 

Sex and The City:
Recently my sister came home from uni for the Easter break and we decided to have a girly evening in and see what Carrie and the girls were up to in NYC. I've seen the series before but it's fair to say we both become quickly obsessed (again). I've been all about wearing hoops and my name necklace ever since...

Rainbow bikinis:
Oh look, I'm talking about Lazy Oaf again. I honestly should invest in this company as I buy from them all of the time. A few weeks ago I saw they were launching their swimwear range and I wanted something from the collection last year but just couldn't justify it but then until I saw this! I really wanted a rainbow bikini for my holiday year and when I saw this in the preview for the range I was so excited! The colours are so bright and fun, I don't care that it's a bit of a throwback to my 90s childhood (or maybe that's why I love it so much)! 

As you may or may not know I've been having a bit of a tricky time with my skin recently. I've tried a few different masks, face washes and exfoliants and I just wasn't having much luck. During a little trip to Boots I picked up this brush from Botanics and have been using it with this Caudalie foaming face wash (which at first I really didn't like). During the last couple of weeks I've really noticed a difference, my breakouts don't seem to be as half as bad and they seem to be fading quicker too. I can't say it's cured it my breakout issues completely but it's definitely helping right now. 

Last year I kept a scrapbook and absolutely loved it, it was so nice to look back at the end of 2016 at all of the lovely things I'd done in that year. Sometimes it's easy to get down in the dumps by what you're not doing but this really helped me to see how many adventures I'd been on and the fun things I'd done. So this year I've decided to regress back to my 14 year old self and keep a diary. I spend 10 minutes a day reflecting on what I'd been up to that day, whether it was positive or negative. I'd really recommend doing this, it's nice to have some time away from my phone or laptop. I'm looking forward to the end of the year and seeing what was going on then or even going through it again in a few years time! 

Instax camera & film:
Following on from my previous love, my instax camera is something that I've had for a few years and absolutely adore it. I used it so much when putting together my scrapbook last year and I feel sad that I've only used it twice this year so far! I spend far too much money on buying super Kawaii instax film from Hong Kong but I just have to make sure I have a good stock of hello kitty film you know? 

Shop my favourites: