Tuesday, 29 April 2014

2 minute super moist mocha mug cake!

Yes, yes I did!
I love  mug cakes. They're quick, easy, no need for an oven and tastes great.
 I've made a few mug cakes previously but they have always ended up dry, spongey or eggy and gross.
I decided to try my own recipe and see if I could fix some of the previous problems I had. Not tooting my own horn, but... I fixed it and I fixed it good.
This literally takes 1 minute in the microwave (if your microwave is set to high which mine is, if not 2 minutes)

To make the cake you will need:

-2 tbsp of self-raising flour
-2 tbsp of caster sugar
-1 tbsp cocoa powder
-1 tbsp of butter or oil, melted.(I used half a tablespoon of butter and half coconut oil)
- 1/2 tbsp of sour cream
-1 tbsp milk
-1 tsp vanilla essence
-1 tsp of strongly brewed espresso coffee (or 1 tsp of instant coffee dissolved in a small amount of water)

Combine all the ingredients in a cup and mix until smooth. Then microwave for 1-2 minutes (depending on your microwave setting) the cake should just spring back when touched.

Once the cake has been cooked, prepare the icing (or you could leave it as is, up to you):

-3 1/2 tbsp of icing sugar
-2 tbsp of cream cheese
-1 tsp strongly brewed espresso coffee (or instant)
- 1 tbsp cocoa
- 1 tsp vanilla
- chocolate for decoration (and nums)

Combine all the ingredients in the bowl until thoroughly mixed and there are no lumps. Spoon over the icing onto the cake, dust with some icing sugar then top with your chocolate and done!

If you would like to watch the video version of this recipe, the link is below:

Happy baking and I hope you're having an excellent start to the week!

Infinite x's and o's,


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A week in photos #2

So, this is my week in photos take two! I really love how photos capture moments way more that writing about it ever could. The photos are of my families Easter celebrations, my gorgeous pets and little bit of randomness.

Cottage cheese cake, Grandma's recipe (always a winner)
 The easter feast
 Anyone else see an angel? If the head was at the bottom left.
 Cheeky nephews hiding under the table.
 Old boy

 I found the hidden stash of Easter lollies!

Friday, 18 April 2014

15 fun things to with friends on a budget

"What do you want to do?"  " I dunno, what do you want to do?" " I dunno..."   I think at some point this endless conversation has happened to all of us. Since Uni is currently on break and a few of my friends have suggested hanging out together, we were stuck with ideas on what exactly we could do. Since we really don't have a lot of money to spend, being Uni students and all. I thought hey I know, I'll make a list, no wait! A blog post. So here it is...  "15 fun things to do with friends on a budget".

1. Be a tourist in your own city -
There are so many places you may not even know exist if you actually took the time to explore it. Sometimes when we're set on a specific destination, we forget to look around. Gather your besties, arm yourselves with cameras and maps (or you know, smart phones). Don't plan too much of where you'll go, just explore, who knows what cute little shops or destinations you may find. Obviously don't go down a dark alley and think "Hey! This looks like fun". I don't advice this, but explore!

2. Photo scavenger hunt -
This would have to be my favourite. Make a list of ten or so items or things to take a photo of, (this is quite a good list) set a time and place to meet back up, make sure everyone has a working camera and off you go!
Spend the day around town, taking photos and having fun. At the end of the day, whoever has the most photo's wins. You may have to play this game in pairs for safety and so someone can hold the camera.

3. Bonfire! -
Wait until the sun is almost down, gather those marshmallows and ofcourse friends (opt) Kidding! It can be a great way to bond over the flames, singing tunes and stuffing your face full of gooey centred toastey goodness. Make sure the fire is safely lit. If you live in Australia, double check that there aren't any fire restrictions currently on.

4. Bake -
Get your mind out of the gutter! Bake a cake, cookies or cupcakes. To me, baking and cooking is therapy and with friends it's even better. Make a mess in the kitchen with your friends, eat some cookie dough, have some hot chocolate and relax. Don't forget to double or triple whatever you make so your friends can take some home with them. Mmmm... 

5. Photographic Hike -
Hiking and going on a trail can be a pretty relaxing thing to do. With friends it can be fun and a great way to explore nature. Find a local trail, pack your backpacks with all the essentials, survival kit and a camera. Spend the day taking great pictures of the local scenery. Make sure to let friends/family know where you're going and what time you'll  be back for safety reasons. Also, always stick to the trail!

6. Home Spa - 
Yes, guys can do this too!  Going to an actual day spa can be incredibly expensive. Which is probably why I've never been to one. I look at the price list and feel faint.
So, why not bring the spa to you. Grab some face masks and ask everyone to bring their favourite nail polish's and ofcourse LOLLIES!  Now, if you know me personally, you'll know I'm against chick flicks but In this case though, they're approved.

7. Games night -
Dust off your favourite board-games, checkers, chess, uno, the lot. Invite your friends over (byo drinks ofcourse) and pick your game. I don't know about you but, when it comes to monopoly, I have to win. Things get real personal, real fast when people start putting hotels on their properties. To settle the un-avoidable arguments, make sure there is hot chocolate, pizza and plenty of lollies on stand-by.

8. Have an art day/make a dream board -
Now I know what you're thinking, "eugh, not this arty farty stuff."
Well, maybe so, but if you are into art and all the things that go with it, then this will be fun. Making a dream board is a great way to focus on your goals and make a way to achieve them. Ask your friends to bring magazines or you can even print out pictures that relate to your dreams. Cut them out and stick them on a canvas with little notes under each. Such as what the goal is and how you plan to achieve it. Afterwards you and your friends can hang them on your walls.

9. Hit the beach!
Ofcourse if it's the middle of winter, probably not. Although you can still have fun taking photos and walking along the shore. Collect some sea-shells, make a sandcastle and enjoy the scenery.

10. Movie night -
This would have to be the thing my friends and I do the most. It's easy, simple and fun. Ask your friends to bring along their favourite movies, some snacks and ofcourse drinks. Now, I'm not condoning drinking. Especially if your friends have to drive home that same night, but If they are sleeping over then you could make some vodka gummy bears or jello shots. Experiment with different cocktail recipes, maybe even come up with your own flavour combination. (only if you are of the legal age to drink) Prepare for a night of many laughs!

11. Film a short movie to look back at in years to come -
It may seem silly at the time, but in about ten or so years, these kinds of things will be cherished. Grab a tripod, camera and go to a location or even just at a friends house. It doesn't even have to be scripted if you don't want it to be. Take turns at using the camera or assign someone to be the cameraman.
Ask questions, make jokes, just have fun.  At the end, piece together all the film snippets into one video to watch and enjoy. 

12. Have a themed dress up night -
There are endless themes for dress up nights. To name a few ; Pirates & Ninjas, Disney, the letter your name begins with, a colour, suite &tie, what you wanted to be when you were younger (my personal favourite). 

So pick a theme, ask everyone to come in said theme and have a great night in with drinks, snacks and movies in whatever theme you chose. Now, this can be a little pricey if your theme is something not everyone would have in their wardrobe, try to be a little bit creative with this.

13.Go Ice-skating -

Rug up, wear some comfortable clothes that aren't too tight, ones that you can actually move your legs in. Grab your friends and head down to your local Ice-rink. Now, if you're like me... actually you probably don't have an issue with this if you're a normal person. I'm deathly afraid of Ice-skating ever since I had two accidents in which I fractured my coccyx (tail) bone. If you are a little hesitant (an under-statement for me) then just stay on the outer edge of the rink, gripping for dear life onto the barrier.  It will be a blast! 

14. Photoshoot! -

This could co-inside with the themed dress up night, set up a photobooth and take some pictures of you and your friends that will last a life-time. Try glamour poses, silly faces, try to build a pyramid, spell words.

15. Make a time capsule -

Time capsules are created to dig up and look back on in many years to come or to commemorate a significant event. You could use a glass jar, bottle or box. Place an item from each friend inside that represents something for them. This could be photos, a message, recorded message on a cd or usb, pictures of their favourite people/idols, anything. Set a burial location (don't forget to write down where you actually buried it or place a little marker there) and write the date of burial on the box/jar. 

So there it is! This list isn't excaustive, but hopefully it gave you a few ideas at least! 

Infinite x's and o's,


All about protein!

After posting that I was starting a twelve week female body-building course, I had a few questions asking me If I would be drinking protein shakes and which ones are the best. I thought I'd share with you the protein mix and bars that I usually have.

I also want to start by saying that I don't use protein shakes or bars as a meal replacement. I've only done this occasionally when I'm out and don't have the time to make something or as a back-up in-case there's no food available for me to eat.
Obviously I'm not a personal trainer or had any experience in the industry but this is just what I've found to be my favourite.

The protein bars I use are by aussie bodies and they are the mini-bars. They contain 2 grams of carbs and 9 grams of protein. The flavour range is amazing. Rocky road, peanut butter, cookies and cream, the list goes on. You do need to be careful though since some flavours have more fat then others. The average amount of fat per bar is about 2.5 grams (which is pretty good I think).
They are relatively cheap compared to other bars I've bought previously. I buy mine from chemist warehouse and buy about 50 or so bars on-line once a month. They work out to be around $1.50 each.
My favourite flavour would have to be dark chocolate cherry, it tastes like a cherry ripe and it's SO good.

 There's quite a bit of confusion when it comes to protein powder and I had to do a lot of research to find one that suited me. Some say to take two different shakes at different times like for instance just before exercise you apparently needed Hydroxy citric acid  and then amino acids for post-training to repair muscles. I found that route would be pretty expensive, so I wanted to just have one shake. Vital Strength define for women. Per serve it is 99% fat free, has only 1.9 grams of carbs compared to 28.3 grams for celebrity slim and is 1.3 grams lower in fat and calories. It also contains 19 grams of protein per serve.

Define contains Hydroxy citric acid for pre-training and amino acids for post-training. It combines everything you need in one shake. Which is great  because you don't have bottles everywhere and don't even need to pause to think which mix you have to take.

I take one scoop mixed with one cup of half iced water and half milk.  I find having the liquids cold makes it taste that little bit better. Define is available in four flavours; Chocolate, strawberry, vanilla and banana. I've only tried chocolate and strawberry and I've found strawberry to be my favourite. I drink it about an hour before I exercise in the afternoon.

So there you go! Hopefully that answered your questions and gave you a bit of knowledge.
Do you have a favourite protein?

Infinite x's and o's,


Tuesday, 15 April 2014

DIY Tropical Sugar Cookie Scrub

You know those expensive exfoliaters/ sugar scrubs you see in-store and at spas that are only a tiny little jar? 
Well they cost literally a quarter of the price to make yourself! Plus they look great as a gift and you know exactly what you're putting into it! You can experiment with flavours and colours. It also only takes 3 ingredients to make!

Sugar scrubs can be used on your face, lips (great for using before you put on lipstick) body (like before you apply a fake tan to remove dead skin) and feet.

So here's what you need:

-2 cups of raw sugar
-1 cup of coconut oil
-1 tsp of butterscotch essence (or any essence you like)
Just make sure it's safe to put on your skin.

Then you will just need a bowl to mix, spoon, measuring cup, a saleable jar (I got mine at Ikea for about $3) and then some ribbon for decoration (opt).

Combine 2 cups of sugar with 1 cup of coconut oil. If the coconut oil has solidified then you may need to heat it up for a little bit until it has become liquid. Then add a teaspoon of essence, stir it in and that's it! You're done. Scoop it into the jar, decorate with a ribbon and enjoy your smooth skin.
These last (on the counter at room temp)  for at least 2 months and it smells soooo good!

I made a video on how to make this sugar scrub, which I will link below:

So, Have you tried making your own sugar or facial scrub? What's your favourite flavour combination?

Infinite x's and o's


Monday, 14 April 2014

Your questions about me answered!

I was tagged to do the 20 questions tag the other day by a beautiful girl who's blog has mysteriously disappeared and I can't find anywhere. I don't even remember your name, I'm sorry! So if you're reading this, you know who you are.  I was also tagged by Celine, Megan and Mickeala for the liebster award. Thank you ladies! 
 I thought I would combine all the questions from the two tags into one post so I hope this is sufficient enough for you :)

Fair warning, there are a lot of questions, you may need to prepare some tea and biscuits. So if you're not interested in getting to know me a bit more, I would navigate away. (If you just clicked away.. RUDE)
If you're still here, have a heart >  
 Alright here we go:

Do you have any siblings?
Yes, I have two older brothers who are 30 and 28.

How old are you?
I'm 18, whoop! Haha I'm kidding, adulthood is incredibly over-rated. My birthday is on the 15th of September

What's your height?
5 ft 7

Is this your first blog?
It is not! I actually had a few blogs previously when I was younger. I think one was called elenassweettreats or something along those lines where I posted recipes. The other one was called Elenaluvsya which I made when I was 13, oh the embarrassment..

Do you have any diet plans/tips?
I lost around 35 kilos a couple of years ago on a low carb high protein diet. So my tip would be to cut back on too many breads/pasta's etc and stick to healthy lean meats, fruit & vegies! Also don't forget to treat yourself every once in a while ;)

What blogs/people inspire you or who is your favourite blogger?
Goodness! What a hard question... I would say the people who inspire me the most are Tanya burr and Zoella.

Do you work out/How do you stay slim?
I do work out, almost everyday. I just started a 12 week female bodybuilding training course and crossfit so we'll see how that goes! 

Are you in college/uni or working?
Not at the moment, no.
What is one beauty product you would not go without?
I would definitely say concealer, without it I look like a vampire that has a hangover. The one I use is by Estee lauder and it is the double wear stay in place concealer. Does miracles!

What is your favourite colour?
Icy blue 

Do you have any pets?
I do, I have two dogs and three cats. 

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I'm a little boring but i'll probably just stay home, browse tumblr, watch movies, bake something or read.

What's your favourite tv show?
Currently it's Game of thrones or the vampire diaries. I think I just released my inner nerd girl with that question. Although game of thrones has a tad too much rudy nudies... makes it a tad awkward to watch with the family.

What do you feel is your greatest achievement? 
Hmmm, I'd say my weight loss is probably my greatest so far.

Tea or Coffee?
I'm a sucker for both, I usually start the day off with coffee and progress slowly to tea at night. Herbal tea's though, no thank you, to me they taste like drinking pot pouri.

What is your dream job?
Oh my goodness, I have changed my mind about this so many times. I'll go with either a writer, actress or something to do with the film/makeup/fashion industry.

What is your ethnicity?
German and Irish with a bit of Spanish thrown in there somewhere apparently.

Do you want to get married later on in life?
Ofcourse, I think most girls dream of their wedding when they're younger. Right now it's not at the top of my to-do list, but eventually sure. 

Do you have any phobias?
I'd say deep water would be my phobia, you know when you can't see what's  below you. I think it started when I was younger and there was a shark warning while I was in the water.

have you ever had a near-death experience?
I have actually quite a few times, either almost getting run over or almost drowning when I was little in a pool.

Name three places you want to travel to and why?
Greece, America (most states) and London, England.
The reason I want to travel to these places is pretty much the same, experience the culture and explore!
Greece looks so beautiful! In London and America i'd love do some shopping at brands we don't have in Australia. Like lush, premark, sephora and Asos!

Where have you been on holiday & where was the best?
I've been to New Zealand and a lot of places in Australia. My favourite would be Queenstown, New Zealand. It's absolutely gorgeous and very scenic!

Which five male celebs would be on your "list"?
Oooo I would say...  Jensen Ackles, Josh Hutcherson, Chris Pine, Ian Somerhalder and Chris hemsworth.

If you only had 24 hours to live how would you spend it?
Preferably with all the above! Haha... No Kidding, Kidding. I'd probably spend it with family and everyone I love.

Do you have a favourite book?
I think my favourite books are the Infernal devices and the mortal  instruments series, written by Cassandra Clare. Which are both inter-linked.  If you haven't read these, we can still be friends but.... you have to go get them! STAT

What does your bedroom room look like? What style have you decorated it in?
Well, I did a room tour not too long ago if you want to see it as one of my first youtube videos:

What is your favourite disney film?
OH! I cant pick just one!  Frozen, Aladdin, Mulan and Anastasia. I'm sure if i really though about It I'd come up with heaps more.

What's your favourite movie?
Definitely the fast and the furious movies, love them.

Beauty/Shopping Questions:

Heels or flats?
Flats during the day unless of-course they're awesome boots! Heels at night & for special occasions. 

Favourite moisturiser?
Olay complete 30 +

Where do you buy most of your clothes from?
Crossroads, SES, Tempt or Target.

Favourite make-up brand?
I'd either have to go with Mac, Revlon or Urban Decay.

Favourite nail polish brand?
Sally Hansen, hands down.

Post a picture of your face!

What was your first makeup item?
Pretty sure it was concealer actually.. the maybelline fit me one. I had no idea what I was doing, I ended up with horrible makeup lines under my eyes that made me look old and wrinkly.

If you had your own makeup line what would you call it?
Oh goodness, I'd probably just be boring and use my name

Can you please show your followers how you organise all your jewellery?
Will do, I shall take a mental note!

At what age did you start wearing makeup?
I Probably started when I was 15 or so and it was mostly just concealer with a bit of face power and black eyeliner.

What's  your worst shopping habbit?
Being a tight arse. (language sorry, but It had to be done) I tend over-think my purchases then I don't get anything at all.

Do you have a signature scent?
I do, Miriah carey's luscious pink perfume, oo la la. 

How do you normally wear your hair?
completely depends on the occasion, but usually straightened and in a pony-tail with my bangs to each side. Unfortuntetly i'm not too experimental when it comes to my hair because it usually ends up looking like a have a dead animal on my head.

How do you take care of your hair?
I use vanilla coconut oil after a shower and put about a teaspoon onto the ends of my hair. For shampoo and conditioner, I use a colour-protection shampoo by Schwartzkopf. 

Phew! That took me a while! I hope you enjoyed it at least and I was able to answer all the questions you may have about me.

Infinite x's and o's


Sunday, 13 April 2014

Sunday baking! Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

After just getting back from a trip to Port Stephens for a few days I was itching to bake something.
After a few days of not cooking anything.. I start to get withdrawal symptoms... I dream of cooking, what I'm going to  make, the presentation, the texture, the extensive flavour combinations.
I've come to the conclusion that I'm weird. But hey, Johnny Depp did say everybody is a little weird and we should all celebrate that and not be ashamed of it. I totally agree with that! But to be honest I'd probably agree with anything Johnny says.

I'm a fan of the Australian My Kitchen Rules and after watching Paul and Blair's instant restaurant where Manu gave them a ten out of ten for their triple chocolate cheesecake, I knew I needed to make it. We had friends coming over for dinner so It was the perfect opportunity.  It was surprising easy to make and it tasted aaaamazing. Everyone raved about it! You know it's a good dessert when everyone whips out their phone to instagram it. It is incredibly creamy and delicate and the raspberries in the dark chocolate layer give it that tartness to cut through how rich it is.
Just a word of advice though if you are attempting to make this dessert. Make sure all the ingredients that you combine are at room temperature, for instance when you add the cream cheese to the melted chocolate. if the cream cheese is too cold the chocolate will seize and you won't get that perfectly smooth texture.

Enjoy your Sunday & happy baking!

Infinite x's and o's


Sometimes we just need to escape

Sometimes, doing nothing is exactly what you need.
My uncle said something that made a lot of sense the other night about Stress. He said "Stress slowly builds up on you, you don't even know it's there until all of a sudden you have a break down. It's like if you put a frog in hot water, he'll jump out straight away. If you add him to cold water and gradually increase the heat, he will stay there and die because he doesn't know how hot it is." That really made sense to me.

My Dad has been working the last few days at Nelson bay in Port Stevens and asked if I wanted to come up to stay for a day or two at the Anchorage hotel near where he worked.
 We drove up there,stayed for two days and had a great time exploring the area, taking photos and just relaxing.
The hotel was amazing, complete with a fine dining restaurant, beach near by and blue lights on the pool! (I think I was most impressed with that to be honest).
It was so  nice to get away even just for a few days. I Hope the photos I took give you nice sense of calm!
So when you're feeling that anxiety or stress build up, go for a drive... go away on holiday even if it's a short one, don't be the unsuspecting frog. (that sounded better in my head I think)

Do you have a particular place you like to escape to when you're feeling anxious or stressed?

Hope you're all having an excellent weekend!,

Infinite x's and o's,