13 May 2014

#100happydays completo!

Ahhh yes, the never ending pursuit for happiness! Something that all of us at some point, whether we care to admit it or not search for with eager, hungry open arms! Let's face it, Britain is notorious for its gloom - heck, you only need to look towards the sky to figure that out!

We're rather known for our pessimistic natures though, aren't we? We're not like those giddy LA gym bunnies, slurping on fresh, fruity juices, lounging in our lulu lemon yoga pants with a Pilates matt swinging under our arms like a hyper monkey! Quite frankly that all sounds a bit exhausting for the daily grind though, doesn't it?

But what about just stepping back, taking it easy and appreciating the things that are always around us? It's far too easy to forget how the excited slobbery face of your furry friend greeting you every morning with a tail that could whack you out cold unearths that sleepy smile of yours...It's those happy moments that are precious & should be treasured!

It's just too easy to get wrapped up in our hectic personal bubbles. We inevitably get beaten down with the blues that frazzle our smiles, extinguish our zing and & basically making us boring, robotic sods who're no fun at all! 

It with was this in mind that I decided to embark on the #100happydays challenge way back at the start of year! I saw it as a chance to lighten up & simplify life...so that meant saying adios to surplus drama & hola to a bucket of gratitude, happy mama!
I'm not going to preach like a Spanish nun but I hope to enlighten you all with some of the important lessons I've learnt along the way & the treasurable keepsakes I'll keep nestled away, ready to whack out when little Miss Sunshine fails to sparkle on the down days.  

Here's a mishmash roundup of some of the pictures I posted as part of my challenge with some titbit advice along the way...I hope they manage to inject a bit of happiness into your day by pulling out that smile of yours. 

Time to get crack-a-lackin then!

By having to document something each day that made my tiny heart sing, I realised the importance of getting yourself submerged into the world! Embrace the opportunities that are thrown your way and embark on the adventures that the world has to offer.

I guarantee that it will light up your world and you'll end up feeling more connected and grounded!

Simplify things! What's the point in making things more complicated than they should be...where's the fun in that, eh?!
Just keep in mind that the sun will always pop her head up in the morning! She's a generous lil' lady who's always ready to give us a blast of those glowing golden rays! 

Keep a treasured locket of faith in that heart of yours that there is good out there! Where there is a negative, there will always be a cheeky positive hiding her wanton self. 

By trying to become more aware of what makes me happy, it forced me to live life in the moment - to relax and enjoy the R&R that rolls around every weekend...just how life should be I say! 

Simplifying things taught me to try and push aside my expectations of everything & everyone. Though I still have a long way to go to fully kick my expectations right up the backside, I'm grateful for the awareness that once you push past judgement, happiness will materialise & mischevious adventure and endless experiences will be just around the corner!

The lovely bubble of happiness is hard work but utterly worth it in the end! 
It's a state of mind that is in your hands, your control...you can totally choose to see the bright light of a situation. Easier said than done but it's possible with the right intentions! 

Send those niggling negative doubts to the back of the line with their tails between their legs, they have no place around here!

Keep it snuggled in your head & your heart that the unhappy, struggling times won't last forever. 
When you find yourself floating helplessly in the deep murky waters, the very best thing you can do is shower yourself in self-love and care. Not only will you feel wonderful after a bit of TLC but you'll have time to breath & see the positive in the situation. 

Even if the high hurdles are making you tear your hair out, there will always be something that can make you feel better. 
Whether that be munching your way through a smooth-talkin' bar of Cadbury's oreo chocolate or making your bank balance weep by bleeding it dry on that covetable pair of heels you've been hankering over.

At the very least you'll look smokin' & that should be enough to whip out that gorgeously contagious smile of yours!

Spread happiness. Probably the best piece of advice I've stumbled across in my happiness challenge is that there is nothing more rewarding than leaving behind a little nugget of happiness to everyone and everything you come across. 

At the end of the day, everyone can do with an extra little boost and your cheeky flashing nashers  might just make someone's day, or year in fact!  

Happiness does not have an end point! It's a wobbly but sturdy ol' path & the the key is in your journey & determination to keep going.
It's not there to pursue & chase, it's a way of living, a part of just being. Yo mama was spot on when she said don't pursue a man & let him come to you ladies...well, the same can be said for finding your happiness bubble!

It jumps up and surprises you with a big ol' soaking burst of magic when you least expect it. And that's way more fun than trying to coax it unwillingly out of its hiding hole!

It's not always a great big grand gesture of expense or grandeur that can plaster a killer grin on your face...it can simply be getting a juicy smacker from your mama or papa just for being the wonderful, treasurable you!

Happiness is found in life's smallest pleasures, like cosy, bright pink jammies or a fat, happy meditating Buddha!

If you're inspired to take on the challenge, this is the website you need to take a peep at! 

I hope you've enjoyed having a glimpse into some of the snapshots that made me smile!
If you fancy perusing through my entire 100 days in its totality, take a sly lil' glimpse at my Instagram to find the treasure chest of golden goods! 

Happy snooping you bunch of peeping-Toms!

Oh and before I go, if you haven't already please could you pop over to this page & vote for me in the Cosmopolitan blogger awards! This post will explain what to do! Muchas gracias! 

04 May 2014

Tutti-Frutti Fruitcake

So sure enough, this doesn't win first place as a gloriously fancy-pants, super swanky little number but sometimes there's nothing better than a big ol' slab of plain Jane. 

The quiet, unnoticed ones tend to be full of all the juicy good stuff after all, just so you know...

Up until now, I've attempted to bring you some rather fanciful munchies but this messy cake lacks all of the billowing shenanigans & audaciously puts all that she has to offer on full display. Shameless.

Allow me to let you in on an undisclosed secret. Sometimes the beautiful really are just all show and tell but lack the inner pizzazz and...well, munch. 

A sherbet pink raspberry macaroon infused with rose petal sure is one sassy lil' lady but at the end of the day how the heck are you meant to get your teeth into one of those? You want the goods delivered to your rumbling belly, not for it to crumble all down ya top, am I right?

So behold the tutti frutti cake! 

Just a handful of simple ingredients all smushed into one rich, yummy delight full of juicy flavour! The best part? Everything is fruit in some form or the other so it's basically like eating a slice of sunshine from the health Gods. Plus you can load it all onto a fork and your belly will sing like Mary poppins in glee!
Not a lap of sad little crumbs in sight.

Slither a slice (or three) for breakfast, drizzle with some honey and a spoon of greek yoghurt and your dazzling smile will pull that sleepy sun back into the murky skies. 

After all, eat diamonds for breakfast & you'll sparkle all day long! Go on, you're worth it.

Tutti-Frutti Ingredients:

225g raisins
220g sultanas
175g dried cranberries
Handful of glace cherries (optional)
250g Self-raising flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
250ml orange juice (I substituted 200ml for coconut water)

Preheat your oven to 180°C, 350°F, gas mark 4 & prep a cake tin by greasing & lightly sprinkling some flour to make a non-stick base.

Measure out your liquids using a measuring jug and pour them all into a large mixing bowl...

I have absolutely no doubts that you fine lads & lasses know how to pour juice into a bowl so don't think i'm being a patronising ninny by dropping in some process photos... 

Judging by the constant pings of snapchat updates, everyone loves a cheeky snapshot...it makes for a more 'well-rounded' visual experience after all!

Grab yo raisins, measure em' out...

By golly, you've guessed right buster - now do the same with your sultanas & dried cranberries & sling them into the bowl...

Such a clever cookie, aren't you?

Give it all a big ol' dirty mix around...

I added in a small handful of chopped up glace cherries since I saw the gleaming balls of stickiness lurking away in the spices cupboard but the choice is totally yours mis amigos! 

Grating in some eating apples would also be a tasty little addition if you had some bruisers that needed using!

Chuck em' in, mix, stick some cling film over the top & them them get all close & personal to mingle in their juices. I let mine chill for about 2 hours as I'm an impatient tart but if you want your mix to be extra rich, let them render-vous overnight.
Shocking behaviour I know, they've only just met after all. Tsssk. 

No beating around the bush where this lot are concerned.

Once the fruit & juices have done their thang, it's time to add the dry bits to the mix!

Measure out your flour & spices & sieve it all gradually into the bowl of fruity goodness...

Time to get crack-a-lackin' on those summer bikini bods. 
Today's agenda...working those triceps.

Pick up a sturdy utensil & getting a nice sturdy grib on it, slowly raise your arm into the air & then lower it into the bowl.

Taking your time to perfect the technique, rotate the utensil in a clockwise direction, scooping it in wide arches to maximise the burn of your muscle.

That was one rep. Now repeat 2 sets of x10 reps. A workout whilst you bake, you can thank me later!

Oh enough, I'll leave the gym babble for twitter. Just mix the bloomin' mess until it's all coated in sticky fruity yumminess.

You should end up with a golden mixture with a slight airy, mousse-type consistency! Perfecto...a sign from the health Gods that what we're whipping up is light, fluffy, nutritious & deeeelicious!

Unearth your pre-preapred pan, scrap your mix into the base & spread it round so that the currants can snuggle on down into the nook & crannies. 

Such outrageous critters...they'll do anything to reunite in dark corners. 

Pop your baby into the bleatin' heat & let it cook itself into a bronzed babe for about 45 minutes or until she's had her fair share of vitamin D rays... Hello, no one wants a burnt shrivelled raisin. 

Now after letting this cheeky princess cool herself down after all her fruity tom-foolery, I decided there was something missing. She was lookin' a bit exposed so I took it upon myself to tone her naughty behaviour riiiight down & give her a lesson in the beauty of a silk veil. 

Translucent & seductive enough by flashing glimpses of the coveted cash but enough to stop the scamp from laying it all bear for the lads. Mystery is the key to the heart.

So is some sticky icing.

Bowl, icing sugar, water, spoon...hey presto! You're an icing God.

Slather it over your masterpiece & let it saliciously drip its way into all the sneaky lumps and bumps, crevices & the like. 

This is the only time & place where a divet is truly welcomed.

Get your teapot whistling, crack out some fine china & fill it to the brim with a scorchin' bevvie of tea.

After that sweaty & arduous workout putting you poor thing through your paces, it's about time you snuggled on down with a chunky wedge of replenishment bursting with tutti-frutti delight!

Job well done.

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