Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Icing

Here is the recipe I used for my Father’s Day cupcakes.  The Nutella icing was an experiment but worked nicely and went down well with everyone here!


For the cakes…..

85g self raising flour

25g cocoa powder

½ tsp baking powder

115g margarine

115g golden caster sugar

2 eggs

2tbsp milk

For the icing…..

100g butter

200g icing sugar

1 or 2 tbsp Nutella


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4 and put 12 cupcake cases in a cupcake 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.

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

6. Share out the mixture evenly into the cupcake cases and then bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

7. To make the icing, cream the butter and then gradually mix in the icing sugar.  Then mix in a couple of dollops of Nutella.

8.  Top the cakes with the icing and decorate however you like!


i-pic Giveaway Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered my i-pic giveaway. I’ve chosen 5 random winners so if you’re one of them make sure you check your email!

The winners are………..

Emily Anne Hutchinson

Emma Clarke

Claire Woods


Melissa Hall

Enjoy creating your photo frames!


Hawk Eye

Here’s another idea for Father’s Day….. the Air Hogs Hawk Eye. It’s a remote control helicopter with a built in video camera so even though it’s a bit childish, it’s really fun!

The camera can record up to 5 minutes of video (it doesn’t record sound though) and can also take photos. It comes with a USB cable so that you can view the photos and videos on your computer.

You can buy the Hawk Eye here as well as look at the other flying toys Air Hogs sell.


Alva Naturkosmetik Hornhaut Balsam

Time for my second MyPure review of the month.

I’ve been trying out the Alva Naturkosmetik Hornhaut Balsam to try and get my feet ready for summer.  The balm claims to……

“gently reduce calloused skin on the feet, hands, elbows, and knees. Dry, cracked areas of skin will become softer and quickly diminish, with the white willow helping to quell any discomfort associated with cracked skin.”

The balm is quite runny so after applying it, it’s best to wear some socks for half hour or so to let it sink it.

The balm seems to work pretty well and has left my feet and elbows feeling smoother.  The only negative to the balm is the smell.  I can’t work out what it is but it’s a bit medicinal.

You can buy this foot balm from MyPure for £12.30.


Father’s Day Ideas

I thought I’d share with you a few Father’s Day gift ideas I’ve found recently.  I don’t know about you, but I always find it much harder to buy presents for men so I started looking early in the hope that if I looked for longer I’d find better gifts!

I tried some products from Melvita a couple of months ago and loved them.  The products are great and I really like that they are natural and organic.  Melvita also have a men’s range which should be brilliant if the women’s stuff is anything to go by.  They have a few different products such as shaving cream, shower gel and eau de toilette.  Definitely worth a look.

If your dad’s into writing then you can find some good quality pens at  They have a big variety – different brands, ball point pens, fountain pens – at a range of prices.  I’ve found one which costs £340 but there are other much more reasonably priced pens!  This one is the Sheaffer VFM and it costs £10.50.

If your dad’s a music lover then these Ministry of Sound headphones might be a good idea.  They sound good and can be used with iPods or mp3s.  This may not be the best reason to buy a pair of headphones but I also really like the packaging!

I’ve tried some nice wines recently in the name of research(!) which could also make a nice gift either on their own or with a special home cooked meal?

I don’t really know that much about choosing wines so I usually go for the bottle I like the best.  It seems to work though!


i-pic Giveaway

i-pic is a website which lets you create personalised photo frames.  The frames are A5 size and are also magnetic.  You can either pick a frame from some of the ones which have already been designed or you can use the painter tool to create your frame completely from scratch which is quite fun!  I’m not very artistic so the photo below is just an idea but I’m sure you could make some lovely, one of a kind frames using this tool.  You could also spend HOURS trying to create the perfect frame!

i-pic have offered to give five readers the chance to win one of these fab photo frames.  All you need to do to enter is….

  • Like the i-pic Facebook page and/ or follow them on Twitter.  (You have to do one of these to be considered.)
  • Retweet the giveaway for an extra chance.
  • Leave a comment here telling me you’ve entered and whether you’ve liked, followed or retweeted.

The winners will be chosen on Wednesday 15th June.

(UK entries only)


Lovea Bio Argan Oil

Lovea Bio Pure Argan Oil is literally just argan oil which is an oil produced from the argan tree found in North Africa.  It has been used by North African tribes for centuries because of all the natural goodness it contains!

You can use Argan oil pretty much however you want – on your hair, body or face.  It works really, really well as a moisturiser, leaving my skin perfectly hydrated and soft.  Even though it is an oil, it absorbs quite quickly into my skin and although it doesn’t have a fantastic smell, it isn’t horrible and fades quickly anyway.

I did try using the oil on my hair instead of my usual serum but found that it left my hair a bit shinier that I’d like – it looked at bit greasy.  However, after washing it out, my hair felt in really good condition so it works brilliantly as a hair mask.

It is a bit more than I’d normally pay for a moisturiser / hair mask but seeing as it does both, a little goes a long and it works so well, I definitely think it’s worth it!  You can either buy 100ml for £16.99 or 50ml for £14.99 from MyPure.  I’d recommend getting the bigger size as it’s much better value and I know you’ll love it!


LCN Magnetic Nail Varnish

This week I’ve had my first experience with magnetic nail varnish!  The photo below shows you what it is supposed to look like….

I’ve got the LCN magnetic nail polish in Ferromagnetic Blue and Green Temptation and also two magnets – one with a diagonal pattern and the other with a star.  The first time I tried to use the nail varnish I got in a right mess!  Once you’ve applied the varnish, you have to hold the magnet above your nail for about 10 seconds to set the pattern.  To start with I was holding the magnet too far away and nothing was happening.  I found that I needed to hold the magnet really, really close to my nail for it to have any effect but that meant that I kept accidentally touching the wet nail with the magnet and smudging it!  Each time you make a mistake you have to reapply the nail varnish again or it is too dry for the magnet to work.

After a few practice attempts, I managed to get all of my nails looking pretty good.  However, I did find that one hand looked a lot better than the other.  I’m left handed so my right hand (the one in the photo) looks quite good but the left hand didn’t work as well.  It takes me longer to put nail varnish on with the wrong hand so I kept finding that my nails were drying before I could get the magnet to them.  It doesn’t look too bad though and I’m sure I’ll get quicker with practice!  I was surprised that the nail varnishes dries quite so quickly.

I really like this nail polish but you definitely shouldn’t try to use it is you are in a rush and don’t expect to get it perfect first time!


L’Occitan Eau de Toilette

Every L’Occitane product I’ve ever tried has been brilliant.  Everything smells fantastic and works really well.  It’s got to be one of my favourite shops to have a browse in, what with all the little testers dotted around!

I’ve not looked much as the mens range before but I’ve come across the L’Occitan Eau de Toilette for men while on the hunt for a Father’s Day gift and it smells really good.  It has a distinctive smell which is, according to the box, lavender and burnt wood – I can never really work out what perfumes smell like, can you?!  The bottle it comes in is quite unique as well.  Have a look next time you’re in the shop.


Wild Swans

I’ve learnt so much from reading this book!  Wild Swans is the autobiography of Jung Chang and tells the story of her childhood and early adult years in communist China.  It is really gripping and some of the events that she mentions seem unimaginable.  Some of the stuff I was reading I couldn’t quite believe would actually have happened, especially so recently.  Jung Chang also writes about the lives of her mother and grandmother before she was born and you can really see just how much China changed in such a short space of time.

I’d definitely recommend this book as it teaches you loads about the history of China but is much more interesting than just reading a history book as you get a real life account.  According to my copy, Wild Swans won the NCR Book Award in 1992 so it must be good!

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