Friday, 28 November 2014

Season's Eatings: Autumn Apple Crumble Pie

A note from Joelle... 
Autumn Apple Crumble Pie


I usually make my own shortcrust, but for amazing pastry each time (without the usual hassle), I have found that there's no shame in buy it ready-made!

Pie base:
Ready-to-roll shortcrust pastry

Filling:
2 large Bramley cooking apples
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 lemon juice
100g caster sugar

Crumble:
Unsalted butter
Sugar
Plain flour
Porridge Oats

Method - pie base:
Sprinkle some flour onto a clean, dry surface and roll out the dough to a 0.5cm width
Place your pie dish over the top just to check that you have enough dough to go up the sides (mine did, but shrunk in the oven, awks)
Then line the pie dish with your dough and trim away the uneven edges
Prick all the way around the pastry base with a fork 
If you have baking beans or lentils, pour them in
Bake at 160 degrees C for 15 minutes
Leave to cool on the side when lightly brown

Method - apple filling
Chop you apples into  small pieces. If you have Bramley apples, they will get mushy anyway, so you don't have to be too precise. 
Add the sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon and lemon juice (a touch of nutmeg and ground cloves work great, but aren't essential)
Let it bubble away for 5 minutes and remember to stir it around with a wooden spoon
Once the apples are soft and bubbly, take the pan off the heat and set asaide.

Method - crumble:
Really simple: Rub some chunks of cold butter into flour until it resembles golden bread crumbs
Add the sugar and oats and stir
Then put it in the fridge for later

Putting it all together!
Pour the apple filling into the pie dish
Evenly sprinkle the crumble on top and then place it in the oven for 15 mins at 180 degrees Celsius or until the crumble is golden brown and the apple is bubbling at the sides

Add some cream, ice cream or custard and dig in! 
Autumn Apple Crumble Pie
Please let me know if you give this a go :)

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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Thankful Thursday!

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪'Thank U' - Alanis MORISSETTE ♫ ♪

It's a total coincidence that this post has come out on Thanksgiving - I didn't actually plan that!
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I love a good moan or sarcastic rant. But when it comes down to it, there are so many thing (little and bigger) that I am really thankful for:
My readers (you) - I can't thank you enough for taking a few minutes out of your precious time to read posts on my blog. Back in the day, it was just me reading it, so I guess I have come a really long way with the readership I now have!
It is so easy to get consumed by the number of comments/likes/shares/views blogs get and then tailor posts just to please readers. I chose not to do that and just write whatever comes out of my head, and you guys have been so supportive of that. 
No word of a lie, it really makes my day when you message/tweet me saying that my posts entertained you to made you think - that's all I could ever want!

Education - Gone are the days where I moan about getting up early for university or getting upset about how much work I have to do. I 1) so incredibly lucky blessed to have gotten into on of the best unis for my degree subject and 2) so fortunate to even have such a high level of education.
There are millions of children and women around the world who would give anything to go to university and get a better life for themselves/their families through that education, so I will never complain again.

Living so close to Uni - I know this is a weird one, but boy, it's such a blessing! It takes 5 mins to get to the library and an addition 2 mins to get to class everyday, which means I'm rarely late and can't make excuses as to why I can't come in and study. As I'm in my third out of four years, every bit of work counts!

My parents - The hardest working people on the entire planet, and that is no exaggeration. Yes, sometimes my hormones kick in and I disrespect them, but since living in a different country to them I have realised that they just want what's best for me and aren't here to ruin my life.
Having four kids is no joke, so I tip my hat to 'em.

Music - Sounds weird, but I have  been obsessed with music from a very young age and I have it playing from dusk 'til dawn. Even when I'm walking to uni, I listen to my 'Positive' playlist, which features both worship and super-uplifting songs to start my day off well. 
I feel so fortunate to have been able to have music and performance lessons from an early age, which helps when I am really bored. I can just whip out some Bach/Mozart/Tchaikovsky scores and practise on my flute or piccolo. 
Being able to read western music is a language in itself, and I will never take that gift for granted.

If you are American, have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Are there any things you are thankful for? It can be as big or as small as you want!
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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

In Her Morning Elegance

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'In Her Morning Elegance' - Oren Lavie ♫ ♪

 ^^ this cute music vid will blow your mind!

I'm fully feeling the autumnal vibes, and it's glorious. Gone are the days where I constantly complain about the slippery leaves and fost. I now just dress for the season with bright blues (like the clear sky) and dark tans (like the leaves)! Looks like style inspiration is everywhere!

Brogues - Clarks* Clarks have some wonderful seasonal brogues online and in stores right now.
Anklet - Wavy Jewellery
Satchel - La Moda
Here's the breakdown of my entire uni outfit:
Fluffy jacket - Primark [It's soooooooo warm and fluffy!!]
Blouse - Zara
Necklace - New Look
Jeans - New Look
What do you think of mixing tan colours with contrasting colours like bright blues? 

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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

#PRRequest Christmas Appeal

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'I Who Have Nothing' - Haley Reinhart  ♫ ♪

There is so much nice stuff that I can't afford right now (#BrokeBitch) and it's getting me down - like, super down.

But I've come up with a simple solution to all my woes...

Seeing as the #prrequest hashtag on twitter isn't for people who actually work in PR and more for bloggers asking for freebies - I have taken it upon myself to start a Christmas Appeal... for my own reader's benefit, of course. And anyway, what's that amazing saying? 'If you don't beg for free stuff, you're not good enough...'

I promise to 'review' everything I get from this list and might even make them all positive, seeing as I'm in the mood of festive giving.
Here's a list of the things I want but don't really need in order to have a successful, happy blog and an even happier Christmas:

A Bichon Frise, who will love me no matter what mistakes I make in life

Zoella's old Brighton penthouse

A Date With Harry Styles

Actually, a date with all five of One Direction

Oh, and the ethnic one from 5SOS

Front row seats next to Anna Wintour at all major London Fashion Week Shows 

A hipster cafe in Shoreditch named after me

A lock of Ariana Grande's weave

Pouting lessons from Kylie Jenner

A Nando's black card

Someone to come and take my makeup off at night (and to feed me cheesecake, but I am willing to negotiate on that one)

234 blue Smarties - not the dodgy grey looking ones, but the real ones jacked up with E numbers


A bag Miley Cyrus' favourite choice of drug

One of those bathtubs that stands on it's own and isn't connected to the wall, with shiny, silver taps, and a showerhead that doesn't have mould


Christmas is a time of giving, being generous and thinking about the less-fortunate, me.
So PRs, brands and companies, please keep that in your mind and spare a thought for me this Christmas.
I promise a sterling review (maybe, probs not).
#PRRequest Christmas Appeal
Peace 'n' love, peace 'n' love.
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Friday, 21 November 2014

Office Party Dress Guide With The Outnet

A note from Joelle... 
Christmas parties at work can often fill us with cringey memories from time-gone-by, fear and dread...
But the folks at The Outnet have you covered (literally), so that you can look your best this festive season! So whether you're looking for a bit of sparkle, lace, leather for the perfect LBD, you're bound to find something.
Here are my picks for a chic Christmas office party:
Office Party Dress Guide With The Outnet

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
I'm going to snap up no. 8 for an Xmas party coming up! What is your favourite dress from the wishlist? :)
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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Season's Eatings: Vegan Breakfast Truffles

A note from Joelle... 
I'm so lazy with these recipes! Basically this is the exact same recipe as my Vegan Oat Cookies but just rolled into ball shapes instead of disks. But I found that when rolled into this shape, it's more crisp on the outside and super chewy and flavoursome in the centre! The raspberry gives it that tarte kick, whereas the ripe banana and cinnamon combination is so sweet and seasonal!
Vegan Breakfast Truffles
Mmmmmmmmm!
You will need:
5 heaped tbsp porridge/rolled oats
A handful of raspberries (chopped in half if they are on the larger side)
1 very ripe banana (when it has those black spots on the skin!)
A pinch of ground cinnamon

Method:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line/grease a baking tray
 - Mash up the banana
 - Add the cinnamon
 - Add the oats
- Add the raspberries
 - Mix it all together
 - roll out little balls with your hand
- place them onto the baking tray (press them down for the cookie shape, if you like)
 - Bake for 5-10 mins or until golden brown
 Eat them while they are nice 'n' warm :)



'Season's eatings!'
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Sunday, 16 November 2014

Quirky Stocking Fillers For Under £10

A note from Joelle... 
Last year's stocking filler gift guide was really well received, so I thought I'd do another one! Here are some quirky bits and bobs to spruce up a girl's stocking filler - all £10 and under!
Travel Mug - £7.00
Bobble Hat - £6.00
Hot Water Bottle - £10.00
iPhone Case - £9.99
Eyebrow Kit - £5.00

Look out for the men's £10 and under stocking filler post coming sooooooooooooooon!
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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Sh*t That Better Not Be In 2015

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'It Wasn't Me' - Shaggy ♫ ♪

Aerial Food Shots - When did this become a 'thing'? How does the steam not fog up your camera lens? Do you legit stand up/on a table to take that instagram photo? What if you drop your phone into your food? Are there classes you can take in this special art? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!

Dapper Laughs - He is neither funny nor dapper. And the fact that ITV gave him his own show means that they too are endorsing this gross 'lad' culture and trying to pass it off as 'banter'.
I would link you to his Vine channel, but I respect you too much to insult you with his diabolical material. I hope he has enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame. *Update - Daniel O'Reilly has stopped his 'Dapper Laughs' character after all the media backlash and was on Newsnight. I can't forgive him for wearing that dodgy turtleneck, I'm afraid....
source
Bloggers Taking Pictures By Property They Do Not Own - No seriously, can this stop now? It's kind of shocking that the poor homeowner can't even step foot outside their front door because a blogger is using the black door and polished brass knocker as the background of their latest OOTD. 
It doesn't matter if they have a 'rich-looking door', if it ain't yours, don't use it! This also goes for vintage cars, bikes and mopeds!

Skinny Shaming - Just like 'Fat shaming', it's wrong. We have existed as human being for thousands of years. So surely in 2014, we should know that some people are naturally slim, curvy, larger, aubergine-shaped. Men and magazines in particular have no right commenting on women's individual body shapes - especially ones they have never even met. If you're slim, OWN IT! If you have a huge arse, OWN IT! There's no such thing as 'perfect' or 'normal'.

Facebook Propaganda - Just because a picture or video has over 1000 'likes' on Facebook, it doesn't make it a valid source of information. Most of these 'real' videos/images are crafted/edited in certain ways by companies to get as many likes, shares and follows as possible. You're basically giving them money by being gullible. 

'Feeling A Type Of Way' - Can anyone please explain to me what this phrase even means? Even better, why not just tell people the specific emotion you are feeling... It saves both my time and yours.

This:
source
Who in their right mind even suggested creating this? I wish I was in the boardroom when the pitch was happening! Apparently, the nation has been crying out for ... #BrokenBritain.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand breathe.


Are there any things you want kept in 2014? Let me know!
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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The 'Deen Scene: The Filling Station Christmas Event

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' - Mariah Carey ♫ ♪

:)
The Filling Station was the first ever restaurant I tried in Aberdeen! I had just gotten off the plane as a bleary-eyed wannabe student. And sauntered in after being recommended to try it by a kind man on the airport bus. A year later, I also took my sister when she came to visit. You can read all about that HERE.
Aaaaaaaanyway, fast forward two and a half years and I'm happy-dancing after receiving an email inviting me and my pal Eimhear to come and sample the Christmas menu! 
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
We were greeted with these delicious spiced mulled ciders! Safe to say, there wasn't a drop left in anyone's glass!
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
Getting warmed up (literally) for the cocktail presentations by award-winning (and blimmin' hilarious) mixologist Andy Pearson
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
I was chosen to make a cocktail with Andy and rose to the challenge!
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
Sh-sh-shake it!
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
NAILED IT! (with only a few minor spillages)
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
Should have concentrated more to Andy's technique instead of making dodgy gifs!

Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
Adding the finishing touches to my rum eggnog!
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
And here's my eggnog creation in all its glory! This was my first ever egg nog as well.
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
My eggnog cocktail passed Eimhear's taste test (phew!)
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
Laura was up next, and she got top marks from Andy for her cocktail skills!
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
And this was the finished cocktail: a lovely Chocolate Orange Martini (ooooo, fancy!)
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
THE CONCENTRATION! Can you guess what it is yet?
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
Ta-da! A Snowman cocktail! THE FEELS!
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
Eimhear and I both got this delicious Russian Raspberry Punch cocktail. I definitely recommend it if you like sweet and refreshing berry flavours

Onto the food! We sampled smaller versions of The Filling Station's 2014 Christmas Menu.

Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
Up first was this mushroom risotto and goat's cheese bruschetta 
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
This was my first ever risotto, and I had heard so many horror stories about it! But let me tell you...I died and went to creamy, mushroom Heaven!
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
Up next was an American classic! Burger and fries with maple bacon. Sweet and savoury together can be quite hit-and-miss, but once again Assistant Executive Chef, Andy Hamilton and his team nailed it on the flavour blend.
Even the the red cabbage coleslaw (which I'm not usually keen on) was delicious! 
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
Next up was this mini-Christmas dinner. Roast potatoes (the best I've ever had, by the way), sugar snaps, green beans, baby carrots, stuffing balls, (well seasoned) mashed potato, angle on horseback (or pigs in blanket if you're from the North), turkey breast (THAT WASN'T DRY!!) and a pot of cranberry sauce).
When you come for the Christmas dinner, you will receive a whopping 7oz slice of turkey, mmmmm.
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
I'm not one to hang about when it comes to a hot roast!
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
When this dessert came out, it was as if I hadn't even two courses before this!
WHAT A BEAUTY! You'd think this Oreo Cheescake will Chantilly cream and vanilla ice cream would to heavy and too much to handle after a main meal, but it was perfect. Why? Because it was light, not dense and stodgy. The chocolate bourbon base was short and crunchy and the mascarpone and crushed Oreos were a match made in foodie heaven.
Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
Lots of great deals for you!


Filling Station Aberdeen Christmas Menu
It was great to mingle with some familiar blogger faces and some new ones! Thanks so much to the Filling Station for having me down!

The Filling Station are real pros at amazing customer service and incredibly delicious  food.
The staff are so passionate and it's just a total joy eating here time-and-time again!

The Filling Station diners are dotted all over Scotland (Edinburgh, Stirling, Inverness and Aberdeen), so come and have a merry ol' time with them!


254 Union St, Aberdeen AB10 1TN

Open 9am-11pm
Check out their website HERE
Or follow them on twitter HERE
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National UK Blog Awards: I've Been Nominated!

A note from Joelle... 


Hi guys! Guess what?
I have been nominated for TWO awards in the National UK Blog Awards and I can't believe it!
I'm always a bit unlucky when it comes to stuff like this, but being in two categories is a real dream-come-true!
But I'd love your help in the public vote rounds, please...

If you have enjoyed my posts over the years, PLEASE vote for me for the: 

and
This really means a lot to me, so thanks so much if you choose to vote!

Let me know if you vote and I'll enter you in my prize draw to win an amazing iPad SuperAir tablet
... they are so thin, they're actually invisible...
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Monday, 10 November 2014

RECIPE: Vegan Breakfast Oat Cookies

A note from Joelle... 

♫ ♪ 'Say Yes' - Michelle Williams Ft. Beyonce & Kelly Rowlands ♫ ♪

This is quite an impromptu post, as I just created this on a whim this morning. I like to make my 'Breakfast Fruit Tart' I wanted to experiment with some leftover raspberries I had.

I have found that this is the perfect breakfast/snack treat! It's sweet (without sugar), crunchy (without butter) and chewy (without syrups/additives).
We all know how good bananas are for you (potassium and all that), but did you know that oats help release energy in your body throughout the day and keep you fuller for longer?
Vegan Healthy Breakfast Oat Cookies
It's vegan, dairy-free and sugar-free, so a fabulous and healthy alternative to cereal bars, which are often packed with hidden sugars and additives.
With only 4 ingredients, it can be on your plate in 10 minutes!
Did I forget to mention that this is bimmin' delicious?
Okay, here's how you make it:
Vegan Healthy Breakfast Oat Cookies
You will need:
6 heaped tbsp porridge/rolled oats
A handful of raspberries (chopped in half if they are on the larger side)
1 very ripe banana (when it has those black spots on the skin!)
A pinch of ground cinnamon

Method:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line/grease a baking tray
 - Mash up the banana
 - Add the cinnamon
 - Add the oats
- Add the raspberries
 - Mix it all together
 - roll out little balls with your hand
- place them onto the baking tray (press them down for the cookie shape, if you like)
 - Bake for 5-10 mins or until golden brown
 Eat them while they are nice 'n' warm :)
Vegan Healthy Breakfast Oat Cookies
Like this? Why not try it with dried apricots, almond flakes, dessicated coconut or crystallized ginger? 
I have 9 Other Healthy Breakfast Recipes if this one doesn't quite float your boat!
'Season's eatings!'
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