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


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.


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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!
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.


Monday, 9 February 2015

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