The following articles were authored by Helena

Orange, Cardamom & Vanilla Cupcakes

For my latest batch of cupcakes I thought I’d be a bit more inventive so went for a slightly out there flavour combination.  It sounds weird but does taste good, I promise!

This recipe makes 6 large muffin size cupcakes.


For the cakes…..

115g self raising flour

½ tsp baking powder

115g margarine

115g caster sugar

2 eggs

grated rind of 1 orange

6 cardamom pods

For the icing…..

85g butter

175g icing sugar

few drops of vanilla extract



1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 and put 6 muffin cases in a muffin tray.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl.

3. Whisk the eggs together in a mug using a fork and then add gradually to the mixing bowl.  Beat each time you add more egg.

4. Add the orange rind.  Squash the cardamom pods with the flat of a knife to get all of the seeds out and then add these to the mixture.

5. Sift the flour if needed and then fold gently into the mixture along with the baking powder.

6. Share out the mixture evenly into the muffin cases and then bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

7. To make the icing, cream the butter with the vanilla extract and then gradually mix in the icing sugar.  It’s best to add the icing sugar gradually, otherwise it takes forever to mix!

8.  I used an icing bag for applying the icing but you don’t need to do that.  I also topped them with Shimmer Sugar from Dr Oetker and, of course, some edible glitter!


Guylian Mini Filled Eggs

These Guylian Mini Filled Eggs are absolutely delicious!  There are three flavours; milk chocolate truffle, milk chocolate praline and dark chocolate praline.  I couldn’t pick a favourite, they are all melt-in-your-mouth scrumptious and at £3.69 for 185g they make a slightly different and luxurious Easter treat!


e.l.f Nail Polish – Copper

Here’s another of the new shades from e.l.f……

I really like this colour although it wasn’t what I was expecting after seeing the nail polish online.  The photo to the left is straight from the e.l.f website and you can see that in real life, the colour of the nail varnish is much warmer.  I actually prefer the real colour to the online image!

Like other e.l.f nail polishes I’ve tried, this one is really hard wearing and easy to apply.  e.l.f is fast becoming one of my favourite places to find good nail varnishes and I’m amazed by how cheap they are!


Bright Pink Vanilla Cupcakes

These cupcakes are made using a recipe I’ve posted before only without the chocolate chips.  I made a few batches so I could make some different size cupcakes – the little cupcakes hardly need any mixture so I ended up with loads of them!


Winner of my Mama Jewels Giveaway

Thank you to every one who entered my giveway. :-)

The random winner is……………

Maria Norvaisa

Hope you like the necklace!


Choccy Munchy Seeds

When I was offered some Choccy Munchy Seeds to review I was really not sure about them as I’m not generally a fan of seeds.  To be honest, I probably wouldn’t have said yes if there wasn’t ‘choccy’ in the name!

These seeds however are absolutely delicious.  Each packet contains a mixture of pumpkin and sunflower seeds coated with the perfect amount of chocolate and the little bits of apricot taste great as well.  They make a brilliant snack as they are surprisingly filling so stop you wanting to eat more.  You can buy Choccy Munch Seeds from Lakeland, Ocado, Waitrose and some Tesco stores.  I think they would be perfect for vending machines as they make a healthy but tasty alternative to chocolate bars and sweets!


LMS Spotlight

My sister Maddie has been trying out the LMS Spotlight for the past few weeks.  Here’s what she thought of it………

The LMS Spotlight uses Red Light Therapy to reduce spots and improve the skin’s healing abilities. It’s different from most other spot treatments out there but nothing has really worked for me before so it was worth giving it a go.

I found it quite awkward to fit in to my daily routine. You’re supposed to press it to the affected area and hold it there for one minute three times a day (I have the Spotlight 8 which is for using on a few spots at a time). If you have four or five areas which need treating this adds up to about 15 minutes a day which may not seem a huge amount of time but it does get a bit boring!

I stuck at it though, and found that it does do what it claims to do. My spots cleared up much quicker than usual. Whereas before a spot would stay for a week or so, after using the LMS Spotlight it would clear up within two or three days. Although it reduces spots quickly it doesn’t actually prevent you getting new spots so while I will carry on using it and would recommend it, I am still looking for the perfect skin treatment to clear my face completely.


e.l.f. Nail Polish – Teal Blue

Last week I tried out one of the new nail polishes by e.l.f. and was majorly impressed by how long it stayed on my nails without chipping.  Another new shade that they’ve just released is ‘Teal Blue’ which is a lovely, bright blue / green – I can’t quite decide which!  After the summery weather last week, I thought it would be the perfect time to try out this summery shade but unfortunately it seems to have been raining ever since I applied it.

The colour is quite hard to photograph… it looks more like mint green here but it is definitely more blue in real life.

I kept this on my nails for five days before it started to chip!


Hot Cross Buns!

Today is the first official day of our Easter holidays which is great news but it does means that exams are nearly here which is a bit scary!  This year seems to have gone by so quickly.  What better way to start the Easter holidays than some Hot Cross Buns?  We had some deliciously fruity ones from Greggs for our lunch today.  They are bigger than the ones you get from supermarkets and are pretty cheap at £2 for two 6 packs.


Nyokki Egg Pet Plants

How cute do these look?!  They are called Nyokki Egg Pet Plants and are little plant pots which sit on your windowsill.  They come with grass seed and all you need to do is water your Nyokki’s head.  Soon, your Nyokki has it’s very own hair!  Bit weird, but I think they’d make a brilliant Easter gift.  They are really unique and there are a few different designs to choose from; a chick, a cat, a frog or a bunny.  Nyokki Egg Pet Plants are available from for £5.99.

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