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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Spainstagram

Marbella, Ramos Restaurant, Boats at Puerto Banus,
Puerto Banus itself, Palm trees at our villa, Fresh breakfast!,
Sardines on the bbq, Pool, Sunset on the beach

Dip Dyed Hair

I had my hair dip dyed blonde in Summer last year, at BLEACH London. It was one of the best things I've ever done! The bleach lasted ages as they bleached it from quite high up, meaning it has only just grown out. I was asked so many times over the year whether I had had it re-dyed, as it just seemed to keep getting blonder. As it was reaching its end, I decided to finally dip dye the remaining blonde bits purple before I had it all cut out.

^Before

I used Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL Ultra Brights in Purple Punk, which is a vibrant semi-permanent colour. I enlisted the help of my mum, who graciously followed my directions without too much fuss. We dyed the hair in sections, and wrapped the individuals bits in foil. Before dying all my hair, I did a few test strands, and realised it was much better to leave the dye in for about 40 minutes, otherwise it wasn't as bright as it could be.


The results were definitely as good as I hoped for, and after a couple of washes the colour began to fade to a beautiful bright pink, before a lighter pink which looked great too. As my hair was bleached before I did it, I think this gave a better result (especially on brown hair, it would never have showed up otherwise).  




When I had my hair cut, the hairdresser even asked if it was done professionally, and although my mum likes to think it was due to her 'pro touch', I'm pretty sure it was my brilliant instruction which gave a great end result. (Take that Jane)

What do you think?

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Checkerboard Cake

So, it's finally summer! A long holiday and sunshine all at once, and what do I do to celebrate? I bake a cake of course! I'm not great in the heat, so after about 20 minutes I get quite bored, and what better way to fix that boredom than with a slightly more challenging cake? Today, I decided to go for a checkerboard cake, after watching an episode of Cake Boss and realising it looked like a fun cake to make.

I baked a vanilla sponge with sprinkles and glitter inside, and a chocolate sponge. I then used a 6 inch cake tin and a circle cut out of paper to create three circles from each cake.




Next, I put the circles inside one another like this:


As I'm still in a very chocolatey mood after giving up chocolate for the entirety of June, I decided to go for a chocolate buttercream. For some reason, I thought piping on the cake would be a good idea - I've definitely been watching too much Cake Boss, I keep forgetting I'm not Buddy Valastro. So the piping is pretty awful, but it was a decent effort.




Once I cut into the sponge, I knew it was worth the extra effort. This technique produces a very cool effect and I definitely want to try it again. Beware though  - the sponge can fall apart if your circles aren't tight enough (but I'm blaming my cake's instability on the hot weather).




Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Banana and Sour Cherry Bread



I made this banana bread a few days ago, and it was brilliant! I've been on the lookout for a great banana bread recipe, and this one is one of the best I've tried. It is adapted from the recipe in the Primrose Bakery cookbook for chocolate and banana loaf, but as I gave up chocolate for June I had to avoid that! I threw in some sour cherries for my dad, who thinks that they belong in all baked goods (I'm starting to agree with him).

Recipe:
125g butter
250g caster sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla
250g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
4 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
A generous handful of cherries - optional (I forgot to weigh mine!)
& 1 greased and lined 900g loaf tin

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180oC.
2. Cream butter & sugar together. 
3. Add one egg, beat it in, and add the second and mix it in well. Follow with the vanilla extract.
4. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and beat it in.
5. Beat in the bananas and the cherries if using.
6. Pour into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, it may take longer, until a skewer/knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

In other news, I made a great knickerbockerglory at the weekend. And turned the photos into a bit of a head-spinning gif. Sorry (not sorry).


Simple Philosophy


Saw this photo on a wall in Manhattan. Simple, yet striking.

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