Children in Need Rainbow Pudsey Cupcakes

In honour of Children in Need coming up this week i decided to make these cute little rainbow Pudsey cupcakes. They are super easy, fun and quick to make, of course, they also taste amazing. I would love to see you guys give these a go at home and tag me in pictures of your finished cakes!

 

 

You will need:

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 130g self raising flour
  • 150g softened butter
  • 20g cornflour
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp milk
  • 4 different food colourings of your choice
  • Icing sugar and yellow, blue, green, black and red food colouring (or pre rolled icing)

 

Method:

Preheat your oven to 160°c and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.

Mix together the dry ingredients, beat in the eggs and butter, then mix in the vanilla extract and milk. Separate the mixture evenly into 4 different bowls. In each bowl gradually add in a food colouring until you get your desired colours. Take one table spoon from each coloured mixture and add it to your cupcake cases. Run a fork through the middle a couple of times to get a marble colour effect. Place on the middle shelf in the oven and leave to bake for approx. 15 minutes (or until a cocktail stick comes out clean) Once baked place the cupcakes on a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

 

For the icing:

You can either, cut pre rolled yellow icing into circles matching the size of the cupcake surface, using the black icing roll out small circles for one eye, a nose and a mouth. Use plain white icing to draw on the eye patch then cut a circle from the green, blue and red icing to make the polka dots on the patch.

Alternatively, you can add 2 table spoons of water to 150g of icing sugar and mix together until smooth. Take 1 table spoon from the mixture and separate it into a different bowl, repeat this in separate bowls 5 times (you should have 6 bowls in total and the one you started with should have the most mixture left in it) In the biggest bowl mix in a few drops of yellow food colouring until you get a strong colour. In each of the smaller bowls repeat this step with red, blue, green, black and leave the remaining bowl white. Use the yellow icing to fully coat the surface of each cupcake, using the black add one eye, a small dot for the nose and a smiley mouth 🙂 Draw on the eye patch with the white then use the red, blue and green to make polka dots.

I originally went for the pre-rolled idea, i cut out all my shapes then left them for so long that they went hard and cracked when i tried to mould them. So if you’re going to go for this one, make sure to stick them to the cakes straight away!

 

Children in need is an amazing charity used to help children living in poverty. Please take a few minutes to donate a couple of pounds at Donate to Children in Need. Every donation, no matter how small will help. 

Send me your cupcake pictures to @FionaMeiklePT on Twitter.

Subscribe to my youtube channel  FionaMeikle to see the video on how to make these coming out on Tuesday! 

Have a great week!

Fiona X

 

Learn to Live

I once had what most would consider a ‘normal job’. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a lot, I’m glad I was given the opportunity to gaze into the life of a ‘normal person’. The experience was eye opening. However, the biggest lesson I learned was that it just wasn’t for me. I wasn’t happy, the day to day workload overwhelmed me massively and being sat at a desk for 8 consecutive hours every single day broke me. Where this life suits the majority, it did not suit me. So I moved on. My point? If you’re not happy with who you are, change.

 

Remember, 

 

1. Having a dream is not an obligation

People always talk about their dreams, their goals, their intentions. They wont ever be fully satisfied or settled until they achieve these desires. More often than not, these are long term dreams, a way to finish a life, where they want to be when they are ‘older’. So fine, if you have something you’ve always wanted to do then why not go for it? But always work with what’s in front of you, be careful of long term dreams. If you’re always looking too far ahead, you’ll lose sight of the opportunities jumping out in your peripheral.

 

2. Everything is down to luck

You did not chose to be born, but you are considerably lucky to be here. Realising that everybody came into the world the same way will humble you, nobody has ever chosen their upbringing, intellectual ability or their aesthetics. Everything is down to luck. You cannot truly take credit for all your success nor blame others for your failures. You were lucky to make it this far, respect all the people you were lucky to have help you along the way.

 

3. Empathy

Empathy is intuitive but also something you can work on intellectually. We all have the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, if you don’t then work on it. Reflect on how you would feel to be occupying the same position. Then react accordingly.

 

4. Don’t seek happiness

We didn’t evolve to be consistently content. Unfortunately we lost that gene along the way. Live in the moment, appreciate every second and don’t overthink. We have a tendency to define ourselves in opposition. We focus on the bad rather than the good, the things we don’t like rather than the things we do. Take pride in your appearance and abilities. In return, happiness will seek you.

 

5. Have gratitude

Have readiness to show appreciation and return kindness. Find the quality to be thankful and recognise affection. Know if you show gratitude to others, you will receive it in return.

 

6. Finally, fill an empty existence

Sometimes days can feel long and empty. We find ourselves stuck in the same routine day in and day out. Get up, go to work, go home, dinner, bed. It is so easy to fall into this trap, feel like theres no way out and accept that ‘this is life’. But that’s just your perception. Fill your empty days by undertaking tasks you enjoy. Do something that makes you feel responsible. Go to the gym, classes, find a hobby, invite a friend over, go out for dinner. Do what makes you happy, give yourself something to look forward too. Fill an empty existence and enjoy every second.

 

Fiona x

I’ve Been Nominated!!!/Blogger Appreciation

I decided to mix things up a little this week. I was going to write a post about my favourite halloween/horror movies. However, after making some new friends over the past few weeks, i couldn’t resist writing a little appreciation post about them all. As i’m writing this a notification appears on my phone ‘You’ve been nominated’ 

I have been nominated for an award. Specifically, the ‘Versatile Blogger Award‘. Thank you SK for the nomination. It truly means a lot. Please check out her blog whenever you have the time!

The next step for me is to simply state 7 facts you may not know about me, then put forward a minimum of 10 other bloggers i think should also be nominated for this award. So scroll down to the bottom of this page to see my list of bloggers, i will link their blogs to their names so please make sure to check out their pages! 

My 7 Facts:

  1. I love being creative. Wether it’s web design or doodling on the back of my hand, i love it..
  2. Smoking and drugs are my biggest turn-offs. Sorry, but i would rather not get involved.
  3. I try not to take life too seriously, i laugh when i can and appreciate every moment.
  4. I have a secret love for Saturday night TV. I love the feeling of cosying up and watching X-Factor.
  5. I am AWFUL at texting back.
  6. I have a passion for cereal
  7. I want to visit so many places around the world, but take my time doing it. 

 

I’m asked often why i decided to start my blog. Honestly, I don’t know the answer. It is something i’ve wanted to do for a while. I have so much to say, and i just want the world to hear.

One of my first posts was all about one single year of my life. The post Life Has It’s Way of Surprising us went crazy. I was contacted by charities, asked to write articles about my experience, i was receiving messages from strangers telling me i have changed their perspective of life. Thousands of people saw this post and i still receive messages about it today. People cried reading my blog and in return, i cried reading every single reply. The result was both so overwhelming and also so rewarding.  Knowing that i had touched people in this way made me feel pride in myself. I felt a sense of accomplishment, and so, the posts continued.

As the weeks went on and my weekly posts were published i began talking to some other bloggers online. They would share and comment on all my posts and in return i would do the same for them. The tweets and comments i was getting from them made me realise how insanely supportive the blogging world is. There is never any negativity, everybody wants to help each other grow and we are all genuinely just there for each other. If anyone needs a hand with a post or generally just needs some chat, we know who to ask. We have our own little group chat of bloggers which starts with a ‘Good Morning’ and ends with a ‘How was your day?’ every single day. I see my bloggers as an escape from the real world, we don’t have to talk about anything serious, i just know they are there when i need them.

Before i was nominated for the versatile bloggers award i was planning to link them all at the end anyway. So here are 30 bloggers i think you should all go and love as much as i do, I nominate you all…

Jess

OkamiAmmy

Kayla

KxtieBlog

Judanna

Dominique

Kirsty Maynard

Marys Life

Pae Reviews

Kris Marie

Shannon Avery

Caitlin

Kind Culture

The Fussy Feeder

Becca Hargate

Bex Chappers

Exclusory

Pretty Style of Living

RilesMtShali

RantEatSleepRepeat

HebahPervaiz

Travelling Wanderer

A Journey Like Never Before

Bee Boo

SimplyShaiz

Our Little Mountain Tribe

SaynThings

Taslyn Matina

Sophie Hearts

 

Please have a look at as many of these guys as you can. They all have great content. I hope you all have a fab week and amazing Halloween! 🙂

Fiona x

Cute Easy Halloween Treats

Halloween is just around the corner! I was looking on pinterest this week for some cute baking ideas and came across a lot of fancy cakes and cookies but my favourite were some easy rice crispie treats. I say easy but, you have to be prepared to get your hands messy. Although the recipe is simple and there is no baking involved, they are an absolute mission to mould without getting sticky!!

I think these are a great, super cute and fun idea to do with kids, they literally take 15 minutes to make and the only washing up needing done after is a bowl, a spoon and your hands! Kids don’t mind getting sticky, so they’ll definitely be up for doing all the messy moulding.

 

 

   All you need is:

  • 180g of white mini marshmallows
  • 3tbsp butter
  • 3 cups of rice crispies
  • Food colouring to match your design
  • Decoration

 

Method:

Melt the butter in a pyrex bowl over a pot of boiling water, add in the marshmallows and mix until melted. Take off the heat and mix in the food colouring until you reach your desired colour then mix in the rice crispies until they are all coated in the marshmallows. Leave the mixture for a few minutes to cool slightly but not too much!

Now, the messy part. For the pumpkins, lightly grease your hands with butter and using a handful of mixture mould into ball shapes, stick a rolo and a green smartie on the top and viola! Rice crispie pumpkins!! You can either eat them now whilst they are warm, or stick them in the fridge to set further.

For the frankensteins, line a square tin with baking parchment and slightly grease. pour the mixture in and leave it to set in the fridge for an hour. Cut the set mixture into rectangles, using some melted chocolate stick on some googly eyes, squiggle on a brain and draw a straight line with some vertical lines over the top to represent a stitched mouth!

If pumpkins or frankensteins aren’t for you there is plenty of alternatives! You could leave the mixture white and mould some ghosts instead, or you could use black food colouring to make some spiders.

I would love to see how you guys get on making these! Send your pictures to me on twitter @FionaMeiklePT or comment them below!

Have a fantastic Halloween, 

Fiona x

World Mental Health Day

This weeks post is a little different to anything i have posted before. World ‘Mental Health Day’ came around this week, and I would love to share some thoughts with you. Before you read on, i just have to say that i am no way a professional when it comes to dealing with mental health, i simply want people to find comfort in my writing and take away any information they find useful to help themselves.

We each have our own way of dealing with emotions. Just like most people, I have previously found myself in a situation where, for a brief moment, i just wanted everything to be over. Of course i have felt that the easiest thing to do sometimes is just to end it all. However, at the same time, i am very lucky to know that these feelings are cursory thoughts and i have the ability to override them with logic. Unfortunately some people do not have this same ability.

Every single person you know either has or will suffer from some kind of mental issue at some time in their life. Some will be minor and easy to overcome, but some will be more major and difficult to recover from alone. Sadly in some cases these issues become so overwhelming that the sufferer feels no other option than to bring everything to an end. Those who suffer from mental health issues can receive an awful amount of negative comments like ‘attention seeker’ ‘selfish’ ‘self obsessed’. These can make their situation ever harder than it already is to deal with. Nothing about mental health is selfish. Here are some things i think you should know when it comes to dealing with both your own and others mental health-

 

There is no such thing as ‘normal’

Everybody has a mental health, just like everybody has a physical health. No two bodies are the same just like no two minds are. Everyone will react to different situations in different ways and some will find it more difficult and challenging than others. Some find it harder to overcome an event, causing overthinking and then escalation into bigger problems like depression or anxiety. Nobody chooses to ‘get depression’ it will always be out with the persons control.

 

It is hard for the person suffering to explain how they feel

Telling someone who is (for example) having a panic attack to ‘calm down’ is futile and will only aggravate the situation. Nine times out of ten the sufferer will know they are safe and are being irrational but they are unfortunately unable to control the way they feel and find it difficult to convey this. It can be frustrating for them to know that attention is drawing to them which in turn, makes it even more difficult to ‘calm down’

 

Mental Health is Not a Fashion Statement

Unfortunately we live in a world today where some people think it’s “cool” to have a mental illness like OCD or anxiety. Just like many think it is fashionable to have a food intolerance. I can pretty much speak for anybody who suffers from any kind of illness that they would never wish it on their worst enemy. Respect that people do actually suffer from these problems and it should never be a joking matter.

 

You will always be your own worst enemy

We are overthinkers. It’s a fact. You judge yourself more than anybody else judges you and worry that everybody sees all the imperfections you can see. To cut this paragraph short, quite honestly nobody cares about your flaws. Why? Because they’re all too busy focusing on their own. So stop stressing and embrace the things you love about yourself. I promise, you will be a much happier you.

 

Events will trigger certain thoughts and feelings, it is unavoidable

One of the most common triggers for mental illness stems from sudden life changing events. A lost loved one, bullying, job loss or illnesses which you may not recover from are just a few examples. It is natural to think the worst in these situations and sometimes emotions can spiral out of control. The most important thing to do at these times is accept that everything will be so much easier with a little help. There is no need to ever feel alone. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to friends or family, there is plenty of support workers out there. If you don’t feel comfortable talking face to face with a stranger, there is online support workers. If you don’t want to go alone, there is group sessions anybody can attend. The options are endless, just know that there is always somebody, and it is so, so important to find the help which is right for you. 

 

Self care is not Selfish

Your health is what completes you as a person. In order to enjoy your life to the absolute limit, it is all down to how you look after and appreciate you. Looking after your mind is just as important as looking after your body. Happy mind equals happy life eh! So be selfish, do whatever you need to do to look after yourself. Even if it means missing out on a few things, YOU are your priority. 

 

World Mental Health day is not just about praising those who deal with their issues on that one single day. It is about spreading awareness of all these silent issues the world had no idea existed until today. Every day is ‘Mental Health Day’. If you know somebody who struggles mentally, lend them a hand. Show them some support. Let them know that you will never force them to talk but are always there as and when they need you to be. If you yourself  silently suffer from some kind of mental illness, don’t leave it until tomorrow, tell somebody today.

Sometime’s just knowing there is someone there is all it takes to change a life. 

Thank you for reading,

Fiona x

Hello October!

I’m sure you are now aware that it is officially October! My second favourite month of the year. I have an exciting announcement to make so make sure and read on until the end.

Seasons are changing, dark, cosy nights are here and I am very excited about this month, here are some reasons why…

 

Autumnal Walks

That feeling of walking through the fallen leaves and hearing your furry friend crunching along behind. I find this extremely therapeutic and a great way to clear my mind. Autumnal walks are one of my favourite fall activities. 

 

Autumn Wardrobe

AH! The colours, the cosy jumpers, wooly hats, boots, socks, ONESIES! This is my favourite time of year for clothes. I love when shops release their fall range. Cosy, oversized jumpers are my absolute FAV!

 

Halloween

Of course, the biggest event in October. Halloween! I’m super excited this year for carving pumpkins, watching some horror movies with friends and going on the yearly dressed up night out. 

 

Lastly, but definitely the most exciting,

 

YOUTUBE!!

My big reveal! October is the month, those who know me personally will know that over the next few weeks I will be filming my first video for Youtube. This is the next big step forward for me and I am so excited to share my content with you. I have just made my channel and will leave the link below so you can subscribe and be notified when i upload my first video 🙂

 

Let me know what your favourite part of this season is! 

Leave some comments below 🙂

 

Fiona x

 

My YouTube:  FionaMeiklePT

Simple Ways To Become A Happier You

Here are some simple steps you can take to help change your mindset, cheer up your outlook on your life and the way you cooperate with those around you 🙂

Be Positive

You know the quote, ‘think positive and positive things will happen’ Well in my opinion, it works! If you stress over things too much, you’ll work your self up and your performance won’t be as strong as it would have been if you were calm. If negative thoughts are building up in your head, take a moment to calm yourself down, do something which relaxes you and re-evaluate the situation with a positive outlook before you act on it. Hopefully your great attitude will rub off on others too.

Forgive

We’re all human, we all make mistakes. If someone you care about has upset you in any way, forgive them. Forgiving their mistake is much better than losing them forever. I’m sure they will make it up to you one day and do the same for you.

Respect

Those who are achieving their goals, those who raise money for charities, every disability, race, gender, sexuality, people who have got themselves out of a tough place in life, your elders, those who have overcome addictions, passed exams, came out of their comfort zone. Every. Single. Person. Deserves. Respect. So be respectful and you’ll see it come right back at you.

Appreciate

Put down your phone and talk to those around you. Don’t be that person scrolling through your phone whilst someone is trying to tell you a story. Appreciate the time you have and the friends and family there to share it with you. Appreciate your surroundings and everything you have.

 

Taking on board just one of these points can have a massive effect on your perspective of your life. Give them a go, watch how you change 🙂 

 

Fiona x

Lemon & Poppyseed Cake Recipe

You will need:

  • 2 Lemons
  • 230g butter
  • 230g caster sugar
  • 230g self raising flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 4tbsp milk
  • 25g poppy seeds
  • 3tbsp lemon juice
  • 225g icing sugar
  • Approx. 4tbsp lemon curd

 

For the cake:

Pre-heat the oven to 180°. Grease and line 2 round baking tins. In a large bowl mix together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, poppy seeds and milk. In a separate bowl beat the eggs then add to the mixture. Grate the zest from one lemon and fold into the mixture. Split evenly into the baking tins and bake for Approx. 20 minutes (or until a cocktail stick can be pierced through the middle and come out clean.)

Leave on a cooling rack until FULLY cooled. Spread the lemon curd evenly on one sponge, stack the other sponge on top.

 

For the icing:

Mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice. Spread Evenly over the top layer, grate some of your other lemon zest over the top along with some poppy seeds, decorate as you please 🙂

 

 

Enjoy! 

Fiona x

Note To Self

Nobody knows you like you know yourself. We all have goals and aspirations, we all have obsessions and realisations of limitations to who we can become. 

We have two versions of ourselves. We have an external – The way others see you, the information you choose to share and allow people to judge. And we have an internal – Your thought process, the data only you can see. The things only you can control.

I work in a job where self evaluation is important. Every single day i help individuals change their lives for the better. People come to me looking to change, so thats what i help them do. The biggest challenge to make a change is not the way you act but the way you think. We all want to be a better version of ourselves, there is room for improvement in everybody.

Call it a clichè, but my biggest ‘Bucket List’ goal is to reach the end of my life with no regrets for decisions or actions i took along the way. I do not want to look back and evaluate my life as negative or wish that i made changes while i had the chance.

Sometimes you have to stop and think about your actions before you let them affect your future.

So, ask yourself;

 

Will you regret not spending time with those you love when they are no longer there for you to love them?

Time is not eternal, life doesn’t last forever, spend time with those who mean something to you while you still have the chance.

 

Will you regret the way you took care of your body while you were young, healthy and able?

Your health is the most important part of your existence. Never take it for granted or before you know it, you will be beyond the point of repair.

 

Will you wish you listened to advice?

Your friends, family, loved ones give advice for a reason. Listen to what they say, they are only trying to help.

 

Will you wish you spent less time online and more time on life?

You hear it everyday. “Kids these day spend to much time online” It’s true. Go outside, take it all in, appreciate your surroundings.

 

Will you wish you didn’t settle for your current career? 

If you don’t love it now, you’re not going to love it in 20 years time. Move on, go back to studying, make sure you get to where you want to be.

 

Will you wish you studied harder?

For the younger generation,  if your plan is to go to college, university or straight into a job then make sure you get those grades. If you don’t use them that’s fine, but you’re better to have too many qualifications rather than not enough.

 

Will you still feel good about the way you treated those around you?

Everybody deserves to be respected. Regardless of race, gender or religion nobody should ever feel like they do not belong. Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated yourself.

 

Will you be happy?

The most important of them all. Will what you do today give you a better tomorrow? If not, then change. It’s never too late, there is never an excuse. Self care is not selfish.

 

I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, life is too short. Do not let bad decisions today affect important factors in your future. 

Look after yourself, enjoy the journey and appreciate every second as if it was your last.

 

Fiona x

Hazelnut Carrot Cake (Lactose/Gluten Free)

It’s September and I feel super Autumnal. As seasons are changing, it’s getting colder, nights are getting darker and so I used this opportunity to have a cosy night in baking whilst catching up on The Bake Off.

This is my simple recipe for Hazelnut Carrot Cake. For those with gluten or lactose intolerances this is so easy to modify.

 

You Will Need:

 

For The Cake: 

  • 255g Self Raising Flour (alt corn flour or a self raising alternative)
  • 1 1/2tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1tsp of Salt
  • 1 heaped tsp cinnamon
  • 295ml Vegetable Oil
  • 195g Sugar
  • 195g Light Brown Sugar
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 85g Roasted Chopped Hazelnuts
  • 290g Grated Carrots (Approx 2 large carrots)

 

For The Icing:

  • 200g Cream Cheese at room temperature (I use lactose free)
  • 155g Icing Sugar
  • 80ml Whipping Cream (Again, i used lactose free)
  • Your choice of decorations for the top

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180°c. Grease two 8in round cake tins and line the base with parchment paper.

In a large bowl mix together the dry cake ingredients, in a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients gradually into the dry and mix until a smooth paste is formed. Add in the grated carrots and hazelnuts and using a wooden spoon mix together (do not whisk this part)

Split the mixture evenly into the 2 cake tins, lightly tap the base on your worktop to remove some air from the mixture and bake for approx 18-22mins or until a cocktail stick can be pierced through the centre and come out clean. Once ready, leave to cool for 15 minutes, remove both sponges from their tins and leave on a cooling rack for a further 30 minutes.

 

Whilst your sponges are cooling, beat the cream cheese with a handheld mixer until it is a creamy consistency. Gradually beat in the icing sugar then pour in the cream and beat for about 1 minute. Place in the fridge until your sponges are ready to be iced.

 

Once your cakes are fully cooled, use a spatula to create a generous layer of icing on top of the first sponge. Layer the second sponge on top then coat the top of the cake, it is up to you if you want to ice the sides or not. Sprinkle some of the remaining hazelnuts on top then decorate any way you like! I used walnuts, some gold icing leaves and cute little carrot decorations.

Enjoy!

Fiona x