Saturday, 30 May 2015

My May Playlist 2015

  

 
This month has been crazy busy for me, especially at college since I've had a lot going on for my graded unit, I still can't believe it's finished!  So a few trips to HMV were needed, although I was good and only treated myself to one CD but, that will probably change over the course of the next few days.
I hope you enjoy my playlist for this month.
 
 
 
Twenty One Pilots - Holding Onto You
 
 
Dodie Clark - A Permanent Hug From You
 
 
Sleeping With Sirens - Don't You Ever Forget About Me
 
 
As It Is - You, The Room & The Devil On Your Shoulder
 
 
Twenty One Pilots - Trees


All Time Low - Old Scars/Future Hearts


Dodie Clark & Jack Howard - Four Five Seconds (Cover


Hey Violet - This Is Why


Tonight Alive - Complexes


Twenty One Pilots - Screen


Cahoots (Ft. Shaun Reynolds) - Down


As It Is - Can't Save Myself


Dodie Clark - Moving On (over)


All Time Low (Ft. Joel Madden) - Bail Me Out


Twenty One Pilots - Glowing Eyes


State Champs - Prepare To Be Noticed


As It Is - Drowning Deep In Doubt


Hey Violet - I'm There




You may have seen from my instagram that this month I bought a copy of Twenty One Pilots debut album Vessel.  This album is absolutely incredible!  There's not really a way to put their music into a genre because it has so much variety in it, from ukulele, to rap, to alternative rock. 
When I first heard of twenty one pilots I didn't bother giving their music a listen because I automatically assumed I wouldn't like their music from the weird description I read about their music and I hate that I didn't give them a listen.   Their music is extremely powerful and I'm hoping to get a copy of their new, Blurryface, soon.


 
You may remember me talking about this album in last month's playlist.  But I'm going to happily talk about it all over again.  The album in question is Never Happy, Ever After and is the debut album from one of my favourite bands, As It Is. 
I was so excited for their debut album and they didn't disappoint.  This month I have been listening to this album a lot, more than I did last month when it was actually released.  I'll even admit to this being the only music that I listened too for a few days in a row.  This band are definitely the upcoming band to watch on pop punk music right now.
 
 

I have talked about Dodie Clark many times on my blog, mainly about her music but also her YouTube channel in general.  This month I've been trying to make more of an effort with learning to play my ukulele (I'm not doing very well with this) and I've been listening to Dodie's music a lot as inspiration and motivation for this.  Also, the first song that I'm trying to learn is Dodie's song A Permanent Hug From You.  This song is just so lovely and the lyrics make me smile so much.



I hope you've reading about some of the music in this playlist.  let me know in the comments what music you've been enjoying during May, I'd love to hear from you.


Carolyn
x
 


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Saturday, 23 May 2015

Becoming Your Own Hero | Part 5: Mistakes, Forgiveness & Moving On

 
http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/mistakes
 
 
I, like every other human being on this planet, have made a lot of mistakes and will make a lot of mistakes.  It's just the way that we're wired, we'll have a lot of both minor and major hiccups in our life.  We'll look back on mistakes that we've made and cringe.  But sometimes we make mistakes that are so huge that years later we're still struggling to move on from them.
 
I am currently trying to move on from one of these mammoth mistakes, one that I made at the end of 2013, yes it was over a year ago.  I posted a really big, stupid selfish post on Twitter (there were a few before this one that I had posted and I regret them just as much) and I still hate myself for doing it and how much it hurt the people that care about me.
 
The person that I was back then is most definitely not who I am anymore.  But the evidence of that person being who I once was is forever on the internet archives and I'm sure could be found if looked for hard enough. 
 
Last year I decided I needed a clean slate and had to move on from the horribly selfish, self centred person that wrote those posts, because I never want to be that person again.   The people that I hurt through this have forgiven me, however I'm still struggling with this.
 
I know that in order to move on from this mistake, put it in the past completely and to stop letting it have a negative influence on my future, I need to forgive myself.  And I think this is slightly crazy.
 
But at the same time it sort of makes sense.  When we make mistakes that affect other people, the way that it's almost always resolved is that they find a way to forgive us, let go and then move forward.  So surely we should treat ourselves the same way in these situations. 
 
 
https://www.pinterest.com/vrego94/tonight-alive/
Tonight Alive // The Other Side
 
At the time of writing that post I was angry, confused and upset.  This caused me to be really attention seeking and selfish and I realise that now looking back on it all.
That's another thing, when we make mistakes we don't always realise that they're mistakes, or we do and just think we'll get away with them.  But we'll look back on these things and mentally kick ourselves for not realising how plain old stupid we were.
 
And although we feel like this and we never want to think about what we done ever again, we have too because we need to learn from our mistakes before we can move on from them.
And sometimes, as I'm learning now, we'll have to do this numerous times before we can finally move on.
 
 
Some things that might help if you've made a mistake:
 
 
1.  Admit you've made a mistake.  Own up to what you've done and the sooner the better.  Even if you know there's going to be horrible consequences you should still admit that you've done wrong, looking back on it you'll be glad you've done this.
 
 
2.  Apologise.  If you've hurt someone (including yourself) through making a mistake then let them know that you're sorry but also let them know that you want to make it up to them, and that you'll do everything you can to not make that mistake again.
 
 
https://www.pinterest.com/alyssastefanson/quotes/
 
 
3.  See what you can learn from your mistake.  This is probably the only good thing about making mistakes, both big and small.  We can learn from the horrible mess that we make.  This isn't always easy and can take a really long time, but in the long run it's worth it.
Look back on what you done, see where you went wrong and most importantly see what you can learn from that.  Sometimes it helps to get someone to do this with you, having someone else's point of view can be really helpful, and that way you might both be able to learn something. 
If you don't learn from your mistake then you'll probably end up doing something similar in the future and won't be able to improve as a person.
 
 
4. Forgiveness and realisation.  This is the part which I think sounds kind of weird and a little selfish but, will probably help in the long run.
Don't be too hard on yourself.  Yes, you've made a mistake and you really shouldn't have done that thing but, we can't change that it's happened.  Unfortunately the TARDIS only exists in Doctor Who so we can't go into our past and undo all our mistakes.  And this is something that we seriously need to realise.  What's done is done.
 
Yes, we can try and right the wrong but it will always be something that happened.  This is pretty annoying because (like with the really selfish thing I done) a lot of the time the person that we were
when we made that mistake isn't who we are anymore and we hate ourselves for making that mistake.
But instead of dwelling on the mistake, we need to forgive ourselves because if we don't then we won't be able to move on. 
 
And we also need to realise that we're all human, there are over 7 billion people on this planet who will all have made mistakes and we're all still to make mistakes.  Everyone, even celebrities and those people we know from school or work who seem to have everything worked out, make mistakes and have done things they're not proud of.
None of us are alone when it comes to the selfish mistakes department, after all we're only human.  But the main thing is that we realise this and try to free ourselves of that horrible guilt that fills us when we think of our mistakes.
 
 
http://semppiternal.tumblr.com/post/64569514745/hell-and-back-tonight-alive
Tonight Alive // Hell & Back
 
 
5.  Moving on.  Like learning from your mistake, moving on from it can take quite a long time as well. 
It's extremely important to learn from our mistakes but it's also important not to dwell on them.  This can have a negative effect on both ourselves and the people around us.  Accept that you done wrong and try to move on from there.
If you spend all your time beating yourself up for the mistake you made, then you probably won't be able to learn from it and move on to be a better person.
Try to move on from the mistake that you made so that the mistake you made doesn't have a negative impact on your future.
 
 
http://colorsinautumn.tumblr.com/post/115031908197/old-scars-future-hearts-all-time-low
All Time Low // Old Scars/Future Hearts
 
 
 
Obviously these things will vary based on the situation and everyone deals with things differently.  But I think that dealing with mistakes that we've made can help us to become better people and become more confident in the knowledge that we've learnt from the bad things that we've done.
 
 
Unfortunately, it's impossible to go through life mistake free, but hopefully we can all try to learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others.   And hopefully learning from our mistakes will help us to be more confident in ourselves and the trust that we put in others.
 
 
This post is part of my Becoming Your Own Hero series about self confidence.  You can read all the previous posts from this series by clicking here.  And I would just like to say a really huge thank you for all of the encouraging comments I received on my previous post in this series, I appreciate them a lot.
I've since met up with a friend I hadn't seen since I left high school (just over a year ago) and it was really lovely and we're hopefully going to see each other again soon.  We also talked about how I've been feeling about friendships recently and it was really helpful, I had a really nice time with her.
 
 
Let me know in the comments what you thought of this post, I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions on making mistakes.
Also, if people would find a post about the mistakes that other people make and what I think about that topic then please let me know in the comments.
 
 
Carolyn
x
 
 

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Thursday, 21 May 2015

Married To The Music | Outfit Of The Day

 
 

If you've read this post then you'll know that fashion is not a strong point for me.  But I am trying to be more happy in the clothes that I'm wearing and I'm starting to enjoy putting together outfits. 

My style is very monochrome and will more often than not include a band t-shirt, although I am trying to change that, even though band t-shirts are probably my favourite thing to wear.

So, I thought I'd share one of my favourite outfits with you all. 
In this outfit the main item is my You Me At Six "Married To The Music" t-shirt and I absolutely love it.


You Me At Six | Married To The Music T-Shirt | £20.00

I got this t-shirt at the All Time Low and You Me At Six arena tour and I love it so much.  The lyric "Married To The Music" is from their song Bite My Tongue and is probably in my top 5 You Me At Six lyrics.   I love the ringed sleeves and neck, it's surprisingly comfy and I think it adds really nice detailing to the t-shirt. 
I always feel a bit more confident when I wear this t-shirt, I feel really comfortable with what I'm wearing which I love.
This isn't available on their web store but there is a similar lyric t-shirt for their song Stay With Me which you can buy by clicking here.



 New Look | Black &White Lace Up Sports Plimsolls | £9.99

These shoes are really comfy and I love the thick sole on them.  I think having black and white shoes is nice with this outfit after the block of black in the jeans.  I also love that the stitching is white on the black material, I think it adds a really nice detailing.
I couldn't find these on the New Look website but you can buy the all white ones by clicking here and the all black ones by clicking here.



New Look | Super Skinny High Waisted Jeans | £22.99

Black skinny jeans are a staple item in my wardrobe, they are what I automatically go for in my wardrobe on a daily basis.  These are the first pair of super skinny jeans that I've owned and I absolutely love them.  I feel like you can never go wrong with a pair of black skinny jeans, whether you're a girl or a guy.
You can buy these jeans online by clicking here.


Pulp Clothing | Jilted Generation Black Skinny Hoodie | £19.99
 
 This jumper is so cosy!  I like to pair this with my denim jacket from Fat Face and I love how they look together.  A black hoodie is my go to item (just like my black jeans) especially since you never know what the weather's going to be like here in Scotland, I always think it's a safe bet to have a hoodie or cardigan, as well as a jacket, with me.
You can buy this hoodie online by clicking here.
 
 
 
Let me know in the comments what you think of this outfit, I'd love to hear from you.  And if you enjoyed this style of post then please let me know and I'll try and write some more for you.
 
 
Carolyn
x
 
 
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Monday, 18 May 2015

My Current Blushes | Two Little Pigs Link Up

 

http://www.twolittlepigs.me/blushes-take-2-an-amalgamation/



One of my favourite blogs to read is Two Little Pigs Down Under which is run by the two little piglets themselves, the lovely girls that are Rosie and Lydia. 

They're hosting a three-weekly blogging link up, Blushes, when you can write a post to share some of your favourite bloggers with your readers.  So, I decided to jump on the Blushes bus and thought I'd share with you all some of the blogs that I've been loving recently.

 
 
 
Lottie loves blogging and I love Lottie's blog!  From her photography, to her really pretty layout (why can't my blog look like that?) to her writing style, I really like Lottie's blog. 
I often find myself scrolling through Lottie's blog because I just really love it.  Her posts make me smile and have definitely been helpful for little makeup-novice-me.
 I'd definitely recommend having a little nosy around her blog, you definitely won't regret it!
 
 

http://www.recklessblog.com/

If you have been hanging around my little blog here for a while, then you have most probably heard me talking about the lovely lady behind Reckless.  I'm lucky enough to not only call Allie one of my favourite bloggers but I'm lucky enough to call her my friend as well. 
Allie is hands down one of the bestest girlies that I know in the blogging world!  I really love reading her posts cause it's like my best friend is just sitting right there chatting away to me about what's on her mind and I really freaking love that.    

 Also, she has a gorgeous blog design (lovely pastel colours!) and her blog is actually a big inspiration for me when it comes to blogging.
 
 
Lilliputian Rose

http://www.lilliputianrose.co.uk/

I love Layla's posts.  She has such a variety of posts on her blog but at the same time her individual writing style really shines through.  Also, she has such a gorgeous blog design - is it just me or this becoming a bit of a theme with me on this post?
Also, her photography is so beautiful, it's always so crisp and clear and definitely a standard that I hope to match on my blog one day.



The Two Little Pigs

http://www.twolittlepigs.me/


Yes, the two girlies themselves!  I'm not really sure if I'm meant to do this because it's their link up but, I have an awful lot of love for Rosie and Lydia's blog, it just makes me smile so much. 
If you've been reading a few of my recent posts then you may have seen that I've caught the travel bug recently so, I love reading about their adventures down under, and I hope that I can have my own adventures there one day soon!
I absolutely love their style of writing, I can hear them laughing on the other side of the screen and their posts always make me smile.  And, like all the other blogs I've mentioned, I love their blog design an lot!



I hope you've enjoyed reading about some of the blogs that I enjoy reading.  Be sure to check them all out and let me know in the comments what you think of them.

If you want to take part in the Two Little Pigs blushes linkup then be sure to click here to share your own Blushes post.


Carolyn
x

 Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Bloglovin


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Friday, 15 May 2015

Becoming Your Own Hero | Part 4: An Empty Bus & Friendships



http://vi.sualize.us/friends_are_like_stars_they_come_and_go_but_the_ones_friends_star_picture_yqKN.html
 

It's been a few weeks since I last wrote a post for my Becoming Your Own Hero series here on my blog.  Although, that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking about it a lot of the time.

I rarely write 'personal' posts on my blog but, I feel as though this entire series has the word 'personal' written all over it.
 I'm not viewing this as a bad thing however, it's something that I'm struggling with.

I'm really scared about not only writing this post but hitting that publish button.  This is a subject which I find quite difficult to talk about but feel is something that I need to talk about as part of this series.

 
The people around you can have a huge influence on not only your confidence but who you are as a person.  This is something I've been thinking a lot about recently and I've mainly been thinking about this in terms of friendships.
 
 
I just finished watching Dodie Clark's video My Brain (tour diary) and I'm sitting in my room by myself and I'm very tearful after watching it. 
 
There is someone in my life who I thought was one of my close friends but, I'm realising that the way this person treats me makes me feel very negatively about myself (as if I don't do enough of that already!).   So, I've been distancing myself from that person because I feel they have been making my self confidence worse rather than helping me feel more confident in who I am.
 
But, I'm also feeling very guilty for distancing myself from this person with no explanation whatsoever, I'm scared to tell them why I'm doing this.
 
 Dodie explained in her video that your life is like a bus.  People get on the bus and people get off the bus. 
 
I would highly recommend watching the entire video, it's very beautiful 
 
 
Let's say that my life is a double decker bus.  My family are sitting upstairs, I'm sitting downstairs by myself.  This is what I feel is an accurate representation of how my life has been for quite a long time now. 
 
Basically what I'm trying to get at is that my family are in my life, I know that they would do anything for me and help me in anyway that they possibly can but, since I was about 13 or 14 I've been too scared to let people be a prominent part of my life. 
I know that whenever I'm able too, my family will be more than happy for me to be on the top level of the bus with them and, even bring other people along with me, just like they've done.
But, I know that on the rare occasions that I've been there I've then gone back downstairs to be by myself.
 
Because I'm sitting downstairs this means that I'm feeling pretty lonely because I'm scared about letting people into my life because I know that means it's easier for me to get hurt and for me to hurt other people.
 
http://quoteshunger.com/quotes-about-family/
 
 
But one of my favourite sayings is that 'you can choose your own family as well as your friends', to me this means that people are capable of finding friends that mean so much to them that they're practically family.
 
But I'm currently at a stage where I have pushed away a lot of my friends and I'm now feeling very lonely because of it (just to make this clear I'm talking about IRL friends and not blogger friends in this post).
 
As far as friendships go there are people who have been downstairs on the bus with me for a long time but are no longer there.
There are people who I am glad are no longer there and, there are people who used to be there and I miss them being there so much that it hurts.
 
 
I spend a lot of my time by myself, like I'm doing right now.  I'm a naturally quite person and have low self esteem.  But I laugh really easily and have a good imagination.  I'm not very good at talking to people but I love to write.  I am very shy but sometimes when I start talking, I don't know when to stop.  I can be extremely clingy one minute then cold and distant the next.  I'm a pessimist and seriously struggle to see the positives in a lot of things.
 
I know that having a negative mind-set is stopping me from making friends but, I'm trying to be more positive.  I'm struggling a lot but I am trying and I'm hoping that wherever I go in the future will help me to grow into a better person.
 
This is one of my favourite quotes from The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
 
I've recently found that I'm distancing myself from people and not letting anyone get too close.  This is mainly because I've lost a lot of friends in the past so, now I just push people away before they can be the one that pushes me away.
 
I've had a lot of bad friendships in the past and been friends with people who put me down, make fun of me and, make me feel like the person I am isn't 'the right person'.
 
If I'm ever to make friends in the future then I know that I'm going to do my absolute best to surround myself with people who make me happy, accept me for the slightly messed up person that I am and, help to build my confidence and grow as a person.
And I want to definitely try to do the same for them.
 
I'm currently sitting on the lower decker of the bus that is my life, by myself.  My family are sitting upstairs.  There are people getting on the downstairs level but getting off again after being there for a short period of time, either because they're choosing too or because I'm pushing them away.   There are also some people who get on and off on a regular basis and I'm always happy when they get on but sad when they leave again, sometimes for reasons which neither of us can prevent.
 
I find friendship a very difficult thing but, I'm hoping that some people get on the downstairs level soon and that our friendship will be good enough that they might want to stay there permanently.
I'm very picky when it comes to friendships and I don't think this is a bad thing but, I think I also need to learn to be a better friend.
 
 
https://www.pinterest.com/jewelrydiva2/friendship/
 
 
I think that what I'm trying to get at is that I have a very tiny amount of friendships in my life and that trying to make some more positive friendships in my life will require a lot more self confidence than I currently have.
I feel that in order to grow in my self confidence I need to find friends who will not only allow me to do this but also help me to develop my confidence in myself.
 
 
This post is part of my Becoming Your Own Hero series about self confidence.  You can read all the previous posts from this series by clicking here.  And I would just like to say a really huge thank you for all of the lovely, encouraging comments I received on my previous post in this series, I appreciate them a lot.
 
 
Let me know in the comments how you think friendships affect confidence, I'd love to hear from you.  Also, if you have any tips on making more positive friendships then please let me know in the comments, it would be greatly appreciated.
 
 
 
Carolyn
x
 
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Saturday, 9 May 2015

A Spotlight On: The Strays by Sleeping With Sirens

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Efm-A4bYvWQ

I bought my copy of Sleeping With Sirens album Madness the week it was released and fell in love with it on my first listen. 
The 6th track on the album is The Strays and is a song that I really love.  So, you can imagine my excitement when they released the music video for this song. 
 I briefly spoke about this song in my album dissection post for Madness but, I really love this song and the music video so I thought I'd talk about it with you in a bit more depth.



http://rarityinsanity.tumblr.com/post/114245174189/the-strays-sleeping-with-sirens-my-edit


I really love the way that this song opens up.  The way it opens with the sharp guitar strums and then Kellin Quinn's vocals counting in the song is really lovely and, it's probably my favourite thing about the first verse. 
I love how delicate sounding the instrumental is in the first verse of this song, I feel like it's a suitable way to introduce what the instrumental will be like throughout the song. 
It isn't what I'd expect from Sleeping With Sirens in a studio album (although it fits the sound of their acoustic EP 'If You Were A Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack', which is a beautiful listen) but I think it definitely fits in with the rest of the songs on this album.

I love the way that the song changes in tune at the bridge, especially vocally and percussion wise.  I think it helps to create a really nice run up to the chorus.


http://throwingthefightt.tumblr.com/post/113898637981/the-strays-sleeping-with-sirens


Instrumentally, the strings become more prominent during the chorus which I really love (if you've been reading my blog for a while, then you may have noticed that I'm a sucker for strings being used in alternative music). 
I love how well you can hear the emotion in the vocals during the chorus I think it's really important for this song, and I love how well you can not only hear but feel the emotion in the vocals.
Lyrically, my favourite lines in the chorus are the following;
"You know we're better, we're better than that
We are the strays"

Personally, I feel these lines sum up the message behind this song really well.


Instrumentally, the tempo picks up in the second verse which I really like, I feel as though this matches the lyrics in the second verse really well.  I especially love how the drums become more prominent at the end of the second verse, I feel it really helps to give the song more of a kick.
Lyrically, my favourite lines from the second verse are the last two;
"Lived it all,
But I didn't break"
Vocally, I love that Kellin Quinn's voice goes just that little bit higher at the end of the verse during these lines.


http://xxfanofmusicxx.tumblr.com/post/115949040778/the-strays-sws

In the third verse you can hear and feel the emotion that is being put into the vocals which I love.
Instrumentally, I love how prominent the guitar part is and, how in the instrumental part after the verse, there's a glockenspiel and whistles as the main tune.
Lyrically, for me, the third verse is extremely hopeful and quite inspirational.  It makes you really think about how you should just go for what you want in life and ignore the people that are trying to put you down.
I absolutely love that the first two lines of the song are played at this point in the song right after the third verse. 


As far as the instrumental goes, the final chorus is my favourite part.  You can really hear the band members putting their all into the music.  Also, the strings, oh my goodness the strings!  The combination of the strings and the band members putting their everything into the song is so atmospherical.
Vocally, I absolutely love how much you can hear Kellin Quinn putting his all into it, especially in the final "You know we're better, we're better than that", it sounds absolutely incredible.
 
 
 
I really love the music video for The Strays.  I think my two favourite things are that they got the Sleeping With Sirens fans involved and, the band just look really genuinely happy throughout the video.  I also love how bright it is, it reflects the song really well.
I absolutely love the idea behind the video, that the people in it are able to be something when they put their mind to it, especially when doing that with people who care about them.

Overall, I really love this song and I think the music video they've created fits with the lyrics in the song really well.  I feel this song is a good place to start if someone hasn't listened to the band before, it gives you a nice taste of what their music is like without being too heavy.
 
 
Let me know in the comments what you think of this song and the music video, I'd love to hear from you.
 
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
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Sunday, 3 May 2015

A Spotlight On: Brighter by Against The Current

 
https://twitter.com/chrissylionseu
 

On May the 1st, Against The Current released the lyric video for their new song Brighter. 
 
This morning was my first time hearing the song and I love it so much.  Mainly for the lyrics which, to be honest, seems to be the case for me with a lot of songs recently.
 
So, I thought I'd share with you all why I love this song so much by writing it for my A Spotlight On series.


 
The song starts off with a short intro with the piano holding the main tune.  This piano part continues on when the vocals kick in.  Also, there are strings!  I freaking love it when stringed instruments are used in alternative music, I think it sounds so beautiful.  And, there are strings used throughout this song which I think sounds amazing and creates a really nice atmosphere.
Vocally, I am a really big fan of Chrissy Costanza's voice and I think it suits the style of this song really well, which is definitely heard in the first verse.

Lyrically, I love the entire song and, the first verse helps to nicely set up what the lyrics are going to be like throughout the song.  I've just re-listened to the first verse a few times to try and decide what my favourite lyric is but, I honestly can't decide, I love all the lyrics in the first verse.
Instrumentally, I like that the piano is the main instrument but, I also love how well the drums hold a nice, steady rhythm.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRDdK4ByD9w
 
The bridge is really nice.  Atmospherically, I love that the instrumental dips down a little bit at the end to provide a nice build up for the chorus.


Vocally, I really like that Chrissy Costanza's voice has more of a presence at this point in the song, you can hear her putting more into it which I really like.
Lyrically, I particularly love the lines
"There's something beautiful, hiding in the shadows
So set the world on fire, let's burn a little bit brighter now"
It just gives me this picture in my head that makes me think that there's always some good in the bad situations but, we need to look for it in order for it be there.

Instrumentally, I like that there's not too much going on in the chorus and the instruments used work really well together.  This really helps there to be a focus on the vocals and lyrics which I think is important for this song.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRDdK4ByD9w


Instrumentally, I love that the drums have more of a front seat from here on.  I think it helps to enhance the strength of the rhythm of the song, especially since there is no bass guitar used (if only I could play bass and be in this band!) which is something I feel is lacking.
Vocally, Chrissy's voice is still strong but not as much as it is in the chorus.  I think this is important because it means the verse is still strong but the emphasis is still on the chorus.
Lyrically, I really like the first line (pictured above), mainly because of how truthful it is.
I think that following our dreams is an extremely important thing but, it can also be very scary because we don't know what we'll have to sacrifice or how will things will turn out.


I really like the tune that the song changes to for the third verse.
The harmonies, vocally, in the third verse are amazing and I love that they take on a sort of gang vocal effect.
Lyrically, I feel like it sort of adds a bit of pressure through the line "Can't stand by and wait like the others".  It makes you really think about why you're putting of something that you want to achieve.
Instrumentally I like it but, I feel it could have done with the drums having a more prominent part in this verse.


The chorus after the third verse is amazing.  Firstly, the drums become prominent which I feel was needed.  Secondly, there are gang vocals with incredible harmonies.  Thirdly, this combination creates such a beautiful atmosphere.  This then leads really nicely into the finall chorus and keeps up the atmosphere that has just been created.
I absolutely love that the song ends on the line that it starts with;
"It's a brand new day, it's never too late to start"
 I think it sums up the message behind this song really well.



Overall I absolutely love this song.  The main thing that I love about it is the lyrics and, how motivational they are.  It really makes me want to just go for the things that I want in my life.

You can listen to Brighter on Against The Current's YouTube channel by clicking here.
And you can order their new EP 'Gravity' by clicking here.

Let me know in the comments what you think of this song, I'd love to hear from you.

Carolyn
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