14 April 2014

Frozen: The Golden Nugget to Life

I remember when Frozen first braced our cinema screens during the Christmas holidays last year & my newsfeed on facebook quite literately exploded in a frenzy! Thinking it was just a flouncy jingle-bells film featuring some disgustingly happy, trottering reindeer, I ducked my head & plumped for some more 'meaty' entertainment to sink my teeth into...The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, anyone? 
Can anyone sniff the scent of pessimism lingering around here?


Oh how my blonde little head was wrong! I actually have to admit that I'm rather pleased that this glittering gem of a movie blew my outrageously false impressions right out of the window...

So last weekend one of my housemates needed a little family lovin' to whip her sparkle back into shape so we nabbed some chocolate mini eggs (always), licked our lips in the presence of the glorious Ben & Jerry & nuzzled down on the sofas to watch the one and only Frozen. 
And what a beauty it was! Not only was it a fabulous film that had me giggling, smiling & very nearly sobbing but it actually filled me with some surprisingly glorious life lessons that I fully intend to start embracing! 


All I can say is my stubborn frozen heart has been well & truly thawed & now I'm left with a rather improper yearning to be Olaf's new girlfriend... After all, I can provide him with a bundle of endless warm hugs!

Without further adieu, here is my roundup of some marvellous gems that I learnt from Frozen...

(1.) Living in an internal place of fear will never allow you to see the beauty in your own abilities

One of the most powerful messages of the entire film is shown in the character of Queen Elsa. We see that as she begins to feel out of control, stressed & irritable (holla all you students out there!), her inner gifts become destructive and produce ugly consequences. It is only when you learn to accept your gifts for what they are in all their glory - unique to you and perfectly imperfect, can you attain the beauty that they're destined to become. Only then will you bloom into the beauty you are.


(2.) You don't need no man to feel like a princess

I think the biggest surprise of the film that left me with a big ol' goofy grin of pleasure was the fact that Disney portrayed Elsa as a strong, independent women. She wasn't just waiting at her window for prince charming to sweep her off her feet & make her life perfect; she was doing her own thing & paving her own path. She knows what she wants & I throw a huge high five out to disney for embracing the idea that women can shape their own destinies, futures and dreams & can conquer the world happily ever after completely free, single & ready to mingle!


(3.) Sometimes ignorance is bliss

This little piece of advice is inspired by everyone's cheeky little favourite: Olaf the Snowman. Everyone wants an Olaf in their life, that one friend whose optimism just whips out your involuntary smile at any time, whose heart is one big ball of warmth and whose life hopes & dreams reach the end of the rainbow. Ok, I admit someone whose all 'hearts and glitter and skipping' could very end up on the floor with a stinging cheek if they were just too. damn. happy all the time but sometimes ignorance is bliss. Olaf was so cheerful and confident at how goddam sexy he would look with a summertime tan that the logistics just didn't matter. The world needs more people like that so just go for it because if it makes your heart sing then ignore little Miss Sensible & boring whispering in your noggin'.


(4.) First impressions can be deceiving; don't judge a book by its cover


The younger sister Anna sets the new record for how quickly a girl can get swept off her feet by the illusion of perfection. She meets Hans, a dapper young gentleman at her sister's Coronation and within the space of a few hours is bawled over, engaged and panting at him like a dog to a bone. She's completely infatuated at the idea of him - his charismatic charm, dashing attire, snazzy tousled hair, rosy lil' cheekbones, oh and not to mention that he's a prince. (Why, of course).
Then Kristoff stumbles into the picture & she judges him straight up from his big furry coat and carrot-addicted reindeer. She perceives him as nothing more than a means to get her up the mountain and completely looks past him. The result? Hans = douchebag & Kristoff = Sir.

The point here is before you jump into what looks all sassy, miraculous & fairytale perfect, take a sneaky peek behind someone's cover to the world. Be nosy and find out more about them before making your judgement call. More often than not, our first impressions are waaaay off. 
Meddling scoundrels!


(5.) True love starts with yourself

An oldie but a goodie! The best & most important relationship a person could ever have is one with themselves. You're one tough cookie whose flavour needs to shine from some self-love & inner confidence so you truly believe that you taste like one down-right scrumptious nugget of treasure! You don't need someone to give you your chocolate chips & make the finishing touches - you possess every capability yourself.

Elsa is ashamed of her powers & the destruction it causes when she loses control but it is only when she learns to accept her gift as a unique blessing & truly believes in herself that she blossoms into the beautiful rose she was all along. 
Don't let the meaningless & lousy words of others dull your sparkly self-esteem as their opinions on your worth & who you are as a person is utterly irrelevant. The only one that counts is yours so make it a spectacular one! 
Feed yourself some inner lovin' & belief & suddenly the world will change around you. Scout's honour.


(6.) Let it go & go with the flow

I'll be 100% blunt & honest here...life can be one massive mindfudge. It's not all castles, royalty & breaking into happy-clappy sing-songs but you know what? You just have to let it go & go with the flow. We all have baggage which can get down-right murderously heavy at times but if you pick yourself up & ride the wave, you'll come out on top chilling in your sail boat.

Take a leaf out of Elsa's book & shed yourself of the restrictions and control you place on yourself. Life is about enjoyment, about being free & open to adventures but how can you truly live if you don't allow yourself to explore? Let yourself cry, let yourself get angry, happy, whatever & stamp over the fears that are holding you back. When you shove it all behind you & wave it a big fat good-bye, you miracously gain control of your life again & it's magnificent.

Ultimately, the past is exactly that: the past...so it serves no value in your life anymore. Open your doors to the world & let the sun rays in & as the most played song on my youtube history trumpets... "Let it go, let it goooooo!" Preach it sista'.


(7.) You allow others to shine when you simply give them a lil' amour


It's the simple truth that everyone you meet is powering through their own personal battles & war zones. You may meet some people that are easy-breezy, 100% carefree most of the time & then you'll meet those who teeter on the wobbly brick wall of emotions but every single one of them has some ball-aches going down in their lives.

Olaf, an icy cold snowman loves a giant toasty bear hug. I love nothing more than being scooped up into a monstrous warm snuggle. Everyone, even the steely, frozen morning commuters secretly adore a bit of shameless nuzzling. You don't have to lavish someone with flowers & chocolates every day to show that you care, love comes in so many different forms. It's far too easy to forget that a simple hug or appreciation text could make the world of difference to someone's day & unearth the sparkly glow they've kept locked away, coveting dust.

Be nice to people & the world will hug you back.


(8.) “Some people are worth melting for… Just maybe not right this second!”


Growing up I was a Cinderella girl hands down. Every weekend, heck it would have been everyday if I'd of had my way, the tape would be whipped out, slotted into the machine & I would sing along to Jaq & Gus, scowl at Lucifer & swirl my myself around pretending to be the next cinderelly! As I grew up, my eyes inched open & I began to realise growing up & making your mark on the world doesn't need to be rushed. 

Olaf is on point when he says the little treasure of truth written above as everything falls into place & happens the way it should. True friendship, true love, dream jobs are all waiting out there for us & some of them require us to take huge leaps of faith & risks but it doesn't all have to happen at once. Sometimes the power lies in being able to accept that some things may seem good but we need the time to breath & embrace it a little longer down the line. If anything is worth waiting for, it's making the right decisions that suit you. Happiness is not created to be rushed!


(9.) The power of a hot dress can make a goddam sexy difference 


Oh all you Cardiff galdem out there know a thing or two about how a slinky lil' number will have you breezin' through the throng of men in Glam on a Friday night...sí? You know what I'm talking about & Frozen most definately got this spot on when Elsa goes through her total badass ice queen transformation. I don't know about you guys but when the fairy dust began to trickle down the screen & her risqué aqua blue number was revealed, my jaws dangled open catching flies. She looked amazing before but holy smokes did she look hot afterwards! The effortless hair, the seductive eye makeup, the sly smirk & the booty saunter to rival beyonce was just all-over sexy.

So girls (& guys), remember the power of a fabulous dress. Slink your way into a flirtatious number & you'll look & feel like a red-hot queen.


(10.) Happiness is constantly around us but it isn't always about saying yes

Happiness & love is about doing what's best for you & taking the time to make the right decisions for your own fulfilment, regardless of how awkward, troublesome or hurtful it may be. Just because someone else may have their own ideas on how things should happen or even how to make you happy, it doesn't mean you have to agree & say "yes". There's far greater talent in being able to turn round and say "no" when you realise that whatever it is, it's not right for you. 

We're all trundling along trying to make the best of situations & keep our spirits alive & dancing like Olaf, so who cares if you turn round & say "no" once in a while? You only get one life so make it the most outrageously adventurous you can!


That's it ladies & gentleman! Hopefully you enjoyed that rather lengthly life lesson & if anything, I hope something written here has sparked a little fire in your belly & got you grinning! 

11 April 2014

Spring Berry Flapjacks With a Chocolate Yoghurt Topping

Hands up whose drowning under a downright fiesty river of deadlines and essays! I've got both my hands gallantly thrashing about in the air right now. 
You too, eh? Oh what an unglamorous time of year has sneakily crept upon us mere pitiful students!

Utterly rude & inconvenient I tell you! 

Don't they know that all we want to do right now is whip our feet up on the coffee table, kill the brain cells we've built up all year round by some mindless nonsense on the t.v screen and devour the stash of mini eggs our mother hens have purchased for the sole pleasure of gratifying our calling bellies?!

What do you mean no? Well they should. Talk about ignorance...jeez.

I decided it was time to steal a few hours for myself and there's simply no better way than dusting down the 'ol trusty whisk and parking myself in the kitchen for the afternoon!

Here's a nourishing & scrumptious little treat that tastes devilish but will keep your little love oven of a tummy a happy 'ol chappie with the warming comforts of sticky golden oats and a smattering of oozy fresh raspberries. 

Outrageously simple to make but delightfully rewarding in the flavour department!

So pop on your radio, grab yourself a spatula and wiggle your way to some scrumptiously gooey lovin' that'll recharge your batteries & get your noggin' fully functioning again in a flash!

What you'll need:

Golden flapjacks:
200g rolled oats (your usual morning Scottish porridge oats won't do the trick here!)
75g clear honey/ golden syrup
50g margarine
150g punnet of fresh raspberries
A few dollops of raspberry jam
A splash of vanilla extract

White chocolate yogurt topping:
100g vanilla yoghurt
200g white chocolate

Preheat your oven to 200°C and line your square tin with a fine dusting of butter and flour or grease it up real good and cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper like so...

Measure out 200g of rolled oats, plop them into a mixing bowl and set aside for the time being.

In a medium sized saucepan over a gentle heat, melt the butter and honey (or golden syrup if you're a sugar magpie like me) until you get a nice bronzed & bubblin' syrup good enough to slather yourself in...

Look at that molten mess of delicious liquid just patiently waiting to be whipped into some naughty scoundrel of a treat

Pour your golden molten concoction into the bowl of oats and mix them all together until each individual oat flake is coated in a deliciously sweet blanket of syrupy love...

Pop 3/4 of your sticky mixture into your pre-prepared tin and squish in down into a tight compact form with the back of your spatula like so:

Next up take your fresh punnet of raspberries and mash them up so they're a juicy pile of delicious chunks & scatter these across the surface of your sticky oat base...

To add an extra punch of fruity goodness to the mix, I chucked on a couple of teaspoons of strawberry jam, swirling it into the raspberries to add an extra layer of kick and balance to the sweet gooey oats...

After all, it's all about getting your 7 a day nowadays isn't it? As tesco's so rightly advocates, every little helps!

Scatter on your remaining 1/4 of the oaty mix

And then carefully squish it all down into a compact little parcel of yummy goodness, ready to bake to perfection in the heat for 15-20 minutes...

Once the surface becomes a golden bronze and your raspberries are bubbling through the cracks, whip your baby out of the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack!

Whilst you allow the pipin' party animal to cool herself down, it's time to start preparing the outrageously easy vanilla yoghurt chocolate topping that'll form the crust of your tempting morsels..

Over a pan of water simmering at a medium heat, melt your white chocolate in a pirex bowl until it becomes a smooth and creamy bath of temptation.

Once all your chocolate has melted, whip the bowl off the heat and add in 100g of vanilla yoghurt, stirring it all together constantly so that it forms a velvet mix of custard & doesn't curdle into a disaster!

Pour it on top of your bronzed oaty base and spread it fairly evening over the surface so that each bit gets a generous lashing of vanilla naughtiness...

Set it to one side & allow to cool before grabbing a knife and chopping it into manageable slices. If you're anything like me I could't wait too long before tucking in...

Just remember that because the coating is mixed with yoghurt, it won't completely set into a hard crust like expected so don't panic if yours remains slightly soft and malleable!

But that's all part of the fun when cutting it all up...you'll be left with a gluttonous coating or two of thick gooey chocolate custard on the knife & what on earth are you going to do with it?

Shove it into your salivating chops of course! 

What else would you do?!

Time to crack the kettle on, whip those feet up onto the coffee table, click the button on the television remote and allow your mother hen to attend to her business. 

And by business I undoubtedly mean delivering you a scorchin' mug of strong tea and a generous slab (or four) of your freshly made succulent and juicy fruity flapjacks. 

Hola bliss, you have been well & truly missed!

Welcome home for Easter comrades!

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