American-style Pancakes!

Friday, 31 July 2015

I've been searching for years to find a fuss-free recipe for fluffy American pancakes, and with a bit of experimentation I have finally put together a no-fail mix that will satisfy your pancake cravings!

Whenever I think of making pancakes it's always a simple task. I don't need more than a bowl, a whisk and pan. I've come across a tonne of recipes that involve using an electric mixer and having to set your pancake mix aside for a while before you can start cooking. But have no fear! This recipe is simple and so easy to make.

They're light, fluffy and will satisfy every time!

Makes 9 medium pancakes

300ml milk
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
30g melted butter (Plus extra to melt in the pan)
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon caster sugar
pinch of salt

(Note: feel free to add chocolate chips or your favorite berries as well!)

In a large bowl, mix all of your dry ingredients with a whisk (I forgot the larger bowl when I made them this time, oops!)

In another bowl whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter

Pour the wet mix into the larger bowl with your dry mix and whisk until combined, and there are no lumps (always wet to dry!)

Heat a pan on a medium to high heat and melt a teaspoon of butter

Once it's hot enough and the butter has melted, pour in a 1/4 cup of your pancake mix (or as much as you want)

Flip the pancake over when bubbles appear on top, or the bottom is nice and golden. They will thicken and rise when you turn them. They will take about one minute on each side to cook.

Handy tips:
- Always mix wet to dry
-If you do get lumps in your mix, just whisk it good!
-You can also use gluten free or wholemeal flour to suit your dietary needs

Enjoy! x. 

 What are your favorite pancake toppings? 

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Daily Essentials: Skin-Care

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Hey guys! So, I'm finally happy with my skin-care routine at the moment (Huraay!) and I thought it would be cool to share with you some of the products that I have been loving. My skin can be very problematic, so I have to choose my skin-care items carefully. Thankfully, I've found a routine that keeps these problems at bay and products that work well.

Yes to Tomatoes Moisturizer
I've been using this product for a while now and I remember liking it really quickly. It's very refreshing and it helps me to wake up on those early mornings. 
Using natural products is very important to me, which is why I chose this brand. Being 98% natural it is reassuring to know that there are no nasty chemicals to be found. 
It's light and you don't need to use much so the bottle has lasted me months. Will definitely be buying this again!

Rimmel BB Cream
(I know this technically comes under make up, but since it has SPF 25 in it I'm going to count it as skin-care!) 
Last year I was on the hunt to try a BB cream for the first time and after going through several recommendations I decided to go with this one. I actually bought it on holiday but couldn't use it because I got a shade that was way too light (oops!)  But once my lovely tan faded and autumn rolled through I have been using this almost everyday!
I'm not a fan of the heaviness of foundations, so this Rimmel product is perfect since it's so light and it goes on easy. And the best part is that it stays put on my face all day, even when I'm working.  
I highly recommend!

Lush Ultrabland Cleanser
 This is usually the start of my night skin routine. I've normally had a shower and washed my face, but my make-up hasn't washed off completely. I have bought this cleanser so many times now and I absolutely love it. It is quite thick since it has honey and almond oil in it, but it does a such great job of removing make-up. A must-have for me!

Lush Tea Tree Toner Water
We all know that tea tree oil is great to help stop breakouts, and as my skin is quite spot-prone I need all the help I can get! I usually use this with my UltraBland cleanser in removing my make up (as a lovely Lush girl recommended) and I truly believe that it helps in stopping my skin for breaking out when I use it regularly. Plus, it's nice and cooling on my face and helps me to relax before bed.

Neutrogena Naturals Night Cream
 This is probably my favorite part of my skin care routine. I chose this moisturizer after my much-loved Nivea night cream ran out, and I was quite worried that I wouldn't enjoy it. Thankfully I had nothing to worry about it turns out I love this product! 
Neutrogena has always worked well with my skin and I can honestly say that I have never woken up with feeling dry. It has the right consistency, not too thick yet not too thin, and has lasted me for months.

Witch Naturally Clear Blemish Gel
A while back my skin was driving me absolutely crazy. It was the worst it had been in years, so I knew I had to find something to help. I came across this gel on a shopping trip, and since it was only $15 I figured it was worth a shot. Let me tell you, this has saved my skin! I put it on before bed each night and from the very first time I tried it I noticed a difference. It has just had such a calming effect and I don't have to worry about redness anymore. Definitely try this, or anything with Witch Hazel in it if your skin is acting out. 

So those are my daily skin-care essentials! Let me know what your essentials are in the comments, I would love your recommendations! x.

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10 Things

Sunday, 26 July 2015

I came across a lovely blog the other day (I'm sorry, I can't find the link anywhere!) and got inspired by what she was writing about. I'm not sure if this was the intended meaning but I am now starting a weekly series called "10 Things" where I write the top things that happened to me/I discovered and it made me happy, so I want to share it with you guys!

I'm a big believer in there being something good in everyday, even if it's just something small, like having a great cup of coffee. And far too often I respond to "What did you get up to this week?" with "Nothing much, just the usual." When the truth is I have had some pretty cool things happen, I've just forgotten to stop and appreciate them. Do you ever do this too?

So, Without further a-do, here's my 
10 Things for the past week:

1. The savior that is Powerade. Thank you for the immediate headache relief after I had contracted a cold. Made my work day possible!

2. Discovering Shaaanxo vlogs. As well as being a fellow Kiwi, Shannon has the most awesome attitude and I love her "Follow me" vlogs. Go check her out here!

3. Demi Lovato's new single "Cool for the Summer." The perfect mix of pop and techno for fun car sing-a-longs on the way to work.

4. The little things. You have no idea how much I looked forward to my first day off where I got to sit in bed with my porridge, a cup of coffee and watched vlogs on YouTube. Don't ever forget to appreciate those peaceful moments!

5. Healthy treats from Pure Cafe co. Pumpkin pie, almond yoyo's, and raw chocolate cheesecake. Oh bliss! Have a look at their Instagram

6. Second Scorch Trials trailer released. I can't explain how excited I am for this movie! The Maze Runner sequel is going to be epic. Watch it here.

7. Has book depository gotten quicker on delivery? The book I plan to read on holiday arrived way earlier than expected. Thanks guys! Wait, now I have to resist reading it for two weeks...

8. Revlon "Wild Card" #440 Gel Envy Nail Varnish. Electric blue, and it stays on (well, most of it) while I work. The color just makes me so happy!

9. Discovering new blogs to follow on Twitter. I never knew how great it was for this! Leave your twitter below and I will come say hi!

10. Tears of joy over Princess Emilia. I had some serious tears in my eyes when I watched one of the latest Sacconejoly vlogs. They went to Disneyland. She got to be transformed into a princess. It was just precious. Enjoy the sweetness here!

 I encourage you to write down 10 things that happened to you this week that made it great. I bet you had a better week than you thought!  

Let me know in the comments what's on your list this week. 
'Til next time x. 

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21 Buzzfeed articles to read when you're bored!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

While it's important to keep up with the happenings of the world, sometimes it can be fun to read something a little more entertaining and light. I find Buzzfeed and Popsugar are great for a nice read when you're bored.
 I did a little exploring and found some enjoyable and interesting articles to share with you, for whenever you might need them.

Happy reading!

What are your favorite websites to browse? X.

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A List of Lists: Stay Organized and Rememer Everything

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

I'll admit it, I'm one of those people who feels the need to keep lists at all times. I even have a list journal with a specific list on each page (I won't mention how many journals I own and write in) However, as someone who considers themselves to be organized this is a very helpful thing!

I'm also incredibly forgetful so lists are often my only hope of remembering both the big and little things.

A while ago I set out on an online search for a list of lists, if you will, to help me stay organized and have a bit of fun with it. While I didn't find that one source with a masterlist, I did manage to find ideas here and there to create my own.

So, to help you stay organized here is a list of lists that I keep in my journal:

 For that ever-annoying "What do you want for your birthday?" question we can't ever think of an answer for. Or rewarding yourself after a challenge of course.

Gift Ideas
Save yourself from getting stuck on what to buy for birthdays. Keep updated year round and take notes when you get home from shopping with a loved one. Remember what they pointed out or said they would love to buy for themselves but won't. 

Got a Minute? 
For small chores we all forget to do, but don't take a lot of time. I skip this page more often than I should

Watch, Read, Listen
Recommendations to explore at a later time. So much music...

Things I Will Do This Year 
Because it's important to make exciting plans. Life's all about making memories, right? Go skiing, spend more time at the beach or make your own ice cream. 

Big Hairy Audacious Goals
A list of your biggest dreams to help keep them in mind. When you write them down on paper they don't seem so scary!

Don't Forget 
Important reminders; just don't forget to check it regularly!

Blog Post Ideas
A pretty important one for me. I always jot ideas down as soon as they hit me so I don't forget and I can look back on them when I get stuck for ideas

Bucket list
Probably the most important list to keep updated. Best feeling ever when you can cross them off!

Great Ideas
I think we've all lost some great ideas over the years, so always right them down. You never know where they might lead!

Apps to Try 
For those online recommendations to try later

Things to Do When You Are Sad
Because we all have those down days and need to be reminded of what makes us happy. It's important to keep this one updated too

Online shopping is very important to all of us

Sayings to remember 
Little quotes or things people have said that were too lovely to forget

Lessons Learnt
Great to look back on over the year and be reminded of what you've been through

There's always new products to try; great for trips overseas where they don't charge an arm and a leg for lipstick. I love you America!

Things to Google
To satisfy my curiosity on a bored Saturday evening (What is quorn even made of?)

I'm lucky enough to be visiting Hawaii very soon and I like to slowly add items so I don't forget anything.

I hope this helps! What lists do you keep? x.

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Photography Spotlight: Harry Ell Track

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Hello everybody!
This is my favorite walk to do on the weekends with my Mum; it's only ten minutes from our house and it always revives us after a long week. They always say that happy people get amongst nature as much as they can and I definitely agree. We can almost always see the Southern Alps (at the moment they are covered in snow and they look amazing!) and it always reminds me how lucky I am to live in New Zealand. 

So, of course when I bought my new DSLR camera this track had to be my first photography mission. As you can tell I had a lot of fun getting close up shots!

Enjoy x. 
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Recipe of the week: Quick and Easy Peanut Butter Choc Chip Cookies!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

These are my new lazy-day cookies! The best thing about this recipe is that there's very little effort involved, only a few dishes and they taste great! There's no flour or butter so you can feel a lot less guilty about eating them too. Plus, they are super quick to make!

I found this recipe on the lovely O to the No blog. The only adjustment I made was using half of a block of dark chocolate that I roughly chopped, instead of using chocolate chips. I love having those big chunks of melted chocolate in my cookies! You could just as easily make these without the chocolate if you don't have any handy in your cupboard.

Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 10 min
Makes 10-12 cookies

  • 1 cup smooth Peanut Butter
  • 2 medium Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2/3 cup Oats
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup choc chips (or I chopped some dark chocolate)
Possible additions:
Macadamia nuts
Mars Bar

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees (350 F)

Mix the oats and baking soda in a medium sized bowl

In a separate bowl, combine the peanut butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla with a wooden spoon until creamy. It should take roughly a minute.

 Pour the oats into the larger bowl and mix until combined

Pour in the chocolate chips and combine as well

Line a baking tray with baking paper and  using a dessert spoon (or I used a cookie scoop), roll the mix into balls and flatten them with a fork. They will not spread or rise much while cooking if you are worried about space on the baking tray.

Put them in the oven bake for 10 minutes or until golden on top

Cool on a baking tray for 10-15min before eating

Enjoy! x. 

Motivational Monday: Being Kind

Sunday, 5 July 2015

(Can tell I have been watching Cinderella recently?)

I work in customer service so this is a big one for me. Don't get me wrong, I have a good share of lovely people with good manners who come in everyday, but there's always those few who bring their bad mood in the door with them. I had to learn quickly to never take it personally and that taking their bad day out on a stranger was their issue, not mine.

I just remember the times where I have served someone who was kind to me and I have walked away and said to my co-workers "They were so lovely!" and I can tell you that it makes my day A LOT easier!

When I was in Washington D.C last year I was at T. J Maxx and said thank you to the cashier, and she was genuinely surprised that I had thanked her. It really hit home and ever since I have made a conscious effort to be kind to anyone helping me.

Sometimes we all get caught up in the business of our own lives that we forget that we aren't on earth to compete and get ahead of everyone else. I think we also forget how much of an impact our attitude and actions can have on others. You don't have to be a saint and devote your life to helping other people, it's just the small things that can make a big difference. It takes such little effort and you might be surprised how it makes you feel too. Why not try some of these:

Compliment someone on their outfit; it takes time and effort to look fabulous!

Hold the door open for someone

Say thank you when someone steps aside for you

Smile at a stranger

Ask the cashier how their day is going

Life is so much better when you are positive and the people around you will find it contagious too. I think we can agree that we need a bit more kindness in the world, right?

Have a great week! x.

(Photo Credit:Pinterest)