Sunday, 13 December 2015

Through The Lens | Winter Walk

 
 
I recently went on a walk with a few friends and ended up taking a lot of photos.  I've shared a few of the photos on my instagram already, but I thought I'd share a few more in a blog post for you. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
You can view the rest of the photos on my Facebook page for my photography by clicking here
 
Carolyn
x
 
 

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Sunday, 25 October 2015

The Sweater Weather Tag


 

 
Autumn.  By far my favourite season.  I know, I'm such a cliché.  
I absolutely love Autumn; cosy jumpers, hot drinks, and the most gorgeous colours in the trees.
I saw the sweater weather tag over on Molly Mac and thought I'd give it a try, although I have slightly amended it to suit myself.
 
 
Favourite candle scent? 
Yankee candle orange splash.

Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? 
Hot chocolate all the way!  I especially love a caramel hot chocolate from Starbucks.
 
 

 
Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner? 
I would normally say winged eyeliner because I'm actually okay at doing winged eyeliner but probably dark lips.  Although I really can't pull it off myself, I love to see it on others.

 
Best fragrance for fall? 
I'm still madly in love with my Zoella Blissful Mistful Fragranced Body Mist (you can read my thoughts on this fragrance by clicking here).


What's the best Autumn memory you have? 
I recently went on a long drive with my friend Issy running various errands.  We stopped at Starbucks, had awesome car-eoke sessions, and I was wearing knitted tights, a maroon dress, and a cosy jumper - it all felt very Autumnal.  Also, te driveway up to where we stay is surrounded by trees and the colours are just incredible to look at.
 

 
What is autumn weather like where you live?
Chilly but sunny.  Sometimes quite rainy but I'm used to this since I live in the UK.

 
Most worn sweater? 
My oversized maroon jumper from New Look.


What book(s) are you reading this Autumn? 
 I've just finished Rachel's Tears by Beth Nimmo and Darrell Scott.  It's an absolutely incredible and powerful read.  I'm going to start One Million Lovely Letters by Jodi Ann bickley, which I've been wanting to read for quite a while so I'm excited to start reading it.
  
 
Football games or jumping in leaf piles? 
Jumping in leaf piles!  What's not to love about jumping in a pile of gorgeous coloured leaves?
 

 















Skinny jeans or leggings? 
Skinny jeans for sure.  I seem to spend more time trying to fix my leggings than feeling comfortable in them whenever I wear them!

 
Chelsea boots or Uggs? 
Chelsea boots for the win!

 
Is pumpkin spice worth the hype? 
I honestly don't know, I'm yet to try it.
 

Favourite fall-related quote? 
Is Fall Out Boy an acceptable answer for this question?

 
What song really gets you into the fall spirit?
Clairvoyant by The Story So Far, at least this year it is anyway.  I'm also loving I Hope This Comes Back To Haunt You by Neck Deep.   Another song that I have been listening too a lot is Twenty One Pilots cover of Can't Help Falling In Love, it's an incredible, haunting version of a classic song.



I hope you've enjoyed reading my answers for the sweater weather tag.  I tag Izzy K, xImmortalMindsxProfessional Daydreamer, and anyone else who loves Autumn as much as I do. 

Let me know in the comments what you're favourite things are about Autumn, I'd love to hear why you love this season.


Carolyn
x

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Monday, 4 May 2015

The Baking Diaries | Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

 


 
Ever since I was little I've loved baking and cooking.  When I started college it took a back seat but, recently I've been enjoying baking on my day off (you may have seen some of the photos on my instagram). 
So, I thought I'd start a little series called The Baking Diaries to share some of my favourite recipes with you.
 
 
 
Last week I made Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes for the first time, the recipe I used is from the BBC Easy Cook magazine - a magazine that me and my mum love!
 
 
 
Ingredients
 
For the cakes:
200g butter
200g plain chocolate
200g light, soft brown sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
250g self-raising flour
 
For the icing:
200g plain chocolate (yes, another 200g of chocolate!)
100ml double cream
50g icing sugar
Something to decorate the cakes with
 
 
 
Firstly you need to preheat your oven to 160 degrees (for a fan oven) and line your muffin tin with cases.  The recipe says it makes 12 but I ended up with 20 cupcakes altogether, so you may want to have some extra cases set out just in case!
 
 
Next you melt the butter, chocolate, sugar and 100ml of cold tap water in a pan, keep stirring it so the ingredients don't stick to the pan.
 
 
Leave this mixture to cool for 2 minutes.  While it is cooling beat the eggs together and then add them to the mixture along with the vanilla extract.
 
 
 
Measure out the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the chocolate mixture to the flour and then stir until it's smooth.  Divide the mixture into the cases until they're about 3/4 full. 
 
Bake them in the preheated oven.  The recipe recommends to bake them for 20-22 minutes although mine took a little longer than this.  Use a knife (or cake tester if you have one) and put it into the middle of one of your cupcakes, if it comes out clean then the cakes are ready.
 
While your cakes are cooling you can make your icing. 
 
For the icing, you firstly have to melt the chocolate (the recipe said to melt it in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water but, I was feeling pretty lazy so I cheated and melted it in the microwave!).
Then stir in the cream and sift in the icing sugar gradually. 
Seriously, sift in the icing sugar don't just pour it all in cause it'll be a little lumpy and more difficult to stir also, just pouring it in the bowl can sometimes make a cloudy mess in your kitchen (unfortunately I learnt this from experience after making my kitchen a bit of a mess when baking once and the entire worktop was covered in icing sugar).
 
 
 
 
Spread the icing onto the cakes which is easiest using a knife, spatula or if you're like me and your mum has an abundance of kitchen utensils, then that utensil in the kitchen drawer that you call 'the icing spreader thing' cause you don't what it's proper name is.
 
 
Then decorate with your choice of sweets and sprinkles.  As you can see below, I went with hundreds and thousands sprinkles, sugar stars and silver pearls.
 




 
 
I had a lot of fun making these cupcakes, the recipe was easy to follow and, they taste amazing!  Let me know in the comments what you think of the recipe, I'd love to hear from you.
 
Also, if you make them yourself then let me know and share your photos on Instagram, be sure to tag me @carolynssimplelife.
 
 
Carolyn
x
 
 

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Monday, 30 March 2015

My Style Icons: Katy English (Little Miss Katy)

 
http://www.littlemisskaty.co.uk/2015/01/fashion-3-ways-wear-leather-trousers.html
 
 
Hey there everyone!
 
 
I'm back with another style icon post today and in this instalment of the series I'm going to be writing about the lovely Katy English from Little Miss Katy.
I have a lot of love for Katy's blog, it's like a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows on a cold winters day (or whatever hot beverage you like to drink when it's cold weather).
 
 
I wish I owned Katy's wardrobe, it has that perfect mixture of smart and casual that I wish mine had and, she always looks stunning no matter what she's wearing.
 
 
http://www.littlemisskaty.co.uk/2014/10/tartan-scarf-zara.html
 
I absolutely love that Katy's outfits look stylish yet comfortable and, not just randomly selected, you can tell that she puts thought into what she's wearing which I really love.
 
 
http://www.littlemisskaty.co.uk/2015/01/fashion-3-ways-wear-leather-trousers.htmlhttp://www.littlemisskaty.co.uk/2015/03/style-woolovers-sweater.html

I really like that Katy has a mixture of clothing, there's very feminine items but also items that have a more rocker look and feel to them which I really like.
 I love that Katy has outfits for all different occasions, both smart and casual (or my dreaded fashion nightmare that is smart casual!). 

I also love how Katy's makeup compliments her outfits really nicely, there's a really nice balance between the two, something that I hope I'm able to do one day!
 
http://www.littlemisskaty.co.uk/2014/09/lfw-style-blogger-red-dress.html
 
One of my favourite outfits that I've seen on Katy's blog is her London Fashion Week outfit.  I think that this dress suits her so well and is the right kind of outfit for the occasion.  And, I love that the studded belt and leather jacket add a more 'rocker' edge to this outfit, it's so gorgeous!
 
 
I can't recommend enough checking out Katy's blog, you definitely won't regret it!
Let me know in the comments what your favourite thing is about Katy's style, I'd love to hear from you.
 
 
Carolyn
x
 



All photos used with permission from the Little Miss Katy blog.
All photos have a clickable link on them which link back to the original post they were taken from.

 

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Monday, 9 March 2015

My Style Icons: Zoe Sugg (Zoella)

http://www.zoella.co.uk/2013_03_01_archive.html
 
Hey everyone!
 
A few weeks ago I posted the first in a series of posts that I'm writing about my style icons.  In the first post I spoke about Jenna McDougall and, you can read that post here.  In this post I want to talk about blogger and vlogger Zoe Sugg, otherwise known as Zoella.
 
http://www.zoella.co.uk/2011/11/general-update-chit-chat.html
 
I know that some people might be slightly confused as to how these are two of my style inspirations because, their styles are very, very different. 
 
I started watching Zoe's videos at about the end of 2012/beginning of 2013 and since then I've really loved her style.  Although her style is definitely more feminine than mine I'd still love to match a style like hers.
 
http://madfashionlover.com/2013/12/09/style-icon-of-the-week-zoella/
 
 
I've really been loving her style more recently as I feel it's a little bit less girly but still has a nice feminine touch, which is something I've been definitely trying to incorporate into my wardrobe recently.
 
 
One of my favourite fashion videos from Zoe is her Autumn look book from last year.  It's very rare that I find a look book where I love every outfit but this is definitely one of them. 
I'd love to own all the outfits that she wears in this video because I feel they're really pretty but also look really comfortable as well.
 
 
https://www.youtube.com/user/zoella280390/featured

https://www.youtube.com/user/zoella280390/featured
 
 I think that Zoe's style is one that is very unique to her and reflects her personality very well which is something I would love to be able to do myself.  I also love how her make up always matches her outfit, it's something I really need to learn to do.


Let me know in the comments what you think of Zoe's style and, if it's one that you would love to incorporate into your own, I'd love to chat with you all about Zoe's style!

Please also let me know if you're enjoying this little style inspiration series because I'm having a lot of fun writing it and, I want you all to enjoy this series just as much as me.
 
 
 Carolyn
x

 

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Monday, 9 February 2015

A Spotlight On: Novels by Rusty Clanton (Version With Dodie Clark)

 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kc5X66kFIMg
 
Hey everyone!

Time for another spontaneous post because I have found a song that is incredibly beautiful - oh, the excitement I am feeling right now because of this song!
 
Oh my goodness, this song!!!!  This is the kind of song that is so rare and, so beautiful.  The first time I listened to this song I was sitting in my bedroom with no lights except my fairy lights and I just sat and listened to this song.  This song is so beautiful and I seriously cannot stress enough how badly I want you to listen too it, but at the same time I just want to keep it all to myself.
 
The version I listened too was not the original.  This song is by Rusty Clanton and the first version I listened too was the one he recorded with Dodie Clark for her YouTube channel.
It was beautiful and yes, it made me cry a little bit.
 
I've listened to both versions now but for this post I want to talk about the version with Dodie in particular because, it's the version that made me fall in love with this song in the first place.
 
 
I think that the pure simplicity of this song makes it so beautiful, it's just two voices with a guitar and that's all that it needs to be. 
 
Lyrically this song is incredible, it tells a story (no pun intended there by the way) and makes a connection to the listener.  My favourite line has got to be:
'And when we sleep I hope we both write novels in our heads'
because I think it gives a really nice representation of dreaming when we're asleep.
 
Vocally I think that Rusty and Dodie's voices fit together really well and I absolutely love how much emotion they both put into this, not only can you hear it but you can really feel it when you listen to this version.
 
The version with Dodie was filmed in a hallway at the YouTube convention Playlist Live and I think a setting as empty as this is perfect because, it allows the space to be filled up with the song and it's so brilliant.
 
I also love the setting for Rusty's original version of this song that he posted on his YouTube channel.  It's filmed at the side of the road and you can hear the wind and cars going past but it adds to the song rather than distracting from it, it's brilliant.
 
 
I'm not going to say much more about this song because I really think you need to listen to it in order to appreciate just how beautiful it is.
It's the kind of song that I want to write down and carry with me all the time and, to ink on my skin and, to listen too while looking up at a starlit sky. 
Basically, the message of this post is that I love this song and I want everyone to listen too it so they can hear how beautiful it is.
 
Let me know in the comments what you think of either version of the song, I'd love to hear from you.
 
Carolyn
x
 
 

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Thursday, 22 January 2015

What Is Love?



 
What is love?

Love is a feeling.
We feel love for the people that we are close too.
We feel love for our favourite drink from Starbucks.
We feel love for the music that makes us feel alive.
And we feel love for the stories that we know will stay with us forever.
We feel love for our jumper with its stretched sleeves and fraying edges, because it is cosy and comfortable.
We feel love for people that we have never met.
We feel love for the sports teams we support.
We feel love for our favourite foods.
We feel love for our pets.
We feel love for moments that happened in our past.
We feel love for the photos and videos that allow us to capture these moments.
We can feel love for a lifetime.
We can feel for five minutes.
Love is a feeling.


 
What is love?
Love is a word.
Love is a word which is thrown around with carelessness and reckless abandon.
Love is a word which carries a lot of weight.
Love is a word which is as light as a feather.
Love is a word with no single definition.
Love is a word that some people long to hear spoken to them.
Love is a number written next to a social media post.
Love is a word that is screamed.
Love is a word that is sang.
Love is a word that is written on a note which is passed across a classroom.
Love is a word that is inked onto skin.
Love is a word that is typed
Love is a word that is whispered under the stars.
Love is a word.


 
What is love?
Love is physical.
Love is a hug.
Love is a warm blanket on a cold night.
Love is a place that we visit because that place is close to our hearts.
Love is our favourite book with its tattered corners, which we will never be able to re-read enough times.
Love is our first pair of shoes, sometimes treasured by a member of our family after we've outgrown them.
Love is a kiss.
Love is the blood which runs through our veins, which may have once belonged to someone else - donated, so that we can live.
Love is the teddy bear that you have owned for as long as you can remember.
Love is the brushstrokes on a canvas, leaving marks of paint to create something beautiful. 
Love is represented in an object.
Love is represented in a gesture.
Love is finding the courage to hold someone's hand for the first time.
Love is physical.

 

What is love?
Love is given.
Love is received.
Love is hurtful.
Love is magical.
Love is pushed away.
Love is creative.
Love is devastating.
Love is overwhelming.
Love is complex.
Love is beautiful.
Love is scary.
Love is taken away.
Love is felt.
Love is wished for.
Love is captured.
Love is hidden.
Love is difficult to understand.
Love is fearless.
Love is fought for.
Love is missed.
Love is put on display.
Love is messy.
Love is forgiving.
Love is a placeholder.
Love is powerful.


What is love?
Love is so many things.


Carolyn
x

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