Thursday, 22 December 2016

Delight & Be Dependent




Last month I met up with my wonderful friend Annie for a day out in St Andrews.  We had such a good catch up and of course, we talked about boys.  The last time I saw Annie (almost a year ago) I had a pathetic crush that I was convinced was such a big deal and I was acting like an idiot around him.  But now I can't even remember who I had a crush on or why I had even liked this boy. 
Since said crush I haven't really liked a guy, and it's been wonderful.  There was a stage when I thought I liked someone but I'm realising I just liked the idea of a relationship, not actually him. 



Me and Annie talked about my stupid crushes and how I want to leave all that behind, and I've recently been talking to one of my friends about being single and how that's affecting me at the moment. 

Like many other girls I dream of the day that I meet the guy that God wants me to be with.  I pray about him, I think about him, and I feel very lonely sometimes because I'm yet to meet him.  And I'm getting impatient. 

But God's telling me something different.  He's telling me to wait.  He's telling me to be patient.  He's telling me to trust Him.  He's telling me to fully depend on Him before I even think about depending on a guy.  And for the first time ever when it comes to this, I'm listening to God.  I'm not ready and I'm finally accepting that from Him because the waiting is part of His plan. 




I'm trying my best to grow in my faith and deepen my relationship with my God first, because if that isn't right then nothing else will be.  But, being patient is tough and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in feeling this way girls.  When we've been longing for something and praying for something for so long and God's reply is to be patient, we can sometimes feel a bit deflated. 

But girls, the waiting is so worth it.  I'm slowly trusting God with more of my heart, leaning on Him more, and learning what it means to fully depend on Him.  Girls, I can't even explain to you how amazing it feels.  Knowing that I'm growing closer to God and that He's working in me for when I do meet the guy He has for me is wonderful.  I'm learning to accept that He is in control, His timing is perfect, and I should fully depend on Him. 

Just think about that for a moment girls.  God has a plan for you.  He knows what He wants you to do with your life, who He wants you to meet, the people you'll impact and the many ways you can serve Him.  He knows the deepest desires of your heart as well as the little things in life that drive you mad but you don't know why.  He knows who He wants you to marry, or if He even wants you to get married.  He has a unique plan for you, we just need to learn what it means for us each to depend on Him. 



I want to depend on Him and have His will for me, whatever that may be, at the centre of my heart.  I want to live for Him however I can and I want to say that I fully trust Him and depend on Him and the amazing plan that He has for me as His daughter. 



Carolyn 
x



SHARE:

Friday, 9 December 2016

Apple & Raspberry Crumble Tray Bake | The Baking Diaries



One of my favourite things about winter is that I can cosy up in the kitchen, blast my Christmas music and bake to my hearts content.  I spent the best part of last Saturday in the kitchen making some tray bakes for my friends baptism last weekend.  They were both new recipes that I haven't tried before so I thought I'd share one of them with you.  The BBC are my go to for recipes, I will happily spend a few hours pouring over their easy cook and good food magazines. 

Apple crumble is one of my favourite desserts, my mum made it a lot when I was little and has made a few variations of it which I love to try.  When I found the BBC tray bake version of apple and raspberry crumble I knew I wanted to give it a go, but with a few little changes. 




Ingredients for the base:

1 bramley apple, peeled & diced
100g of butter (softened)
175g of golden caster sugar
1 egg
280g of self raising flour
125ml of milk
200g of fresh raspberries

Ingredients for the crumble:

50g of butter (diced)
85g of self-raising flour
100g of golden caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
3tbsp of oats
1tsp of cinnamon





Method:

1. First thing you need to do is pre-heat your oven to 180C (or gas mark 4) and make sure you have a shelf on the second level of your oven.  Then grease a 20cm x 30xm baking tin and line it with greaseproof paper.  I find it helps to have little bit of paper over the top of the tin and then cut down to the corners so taking it out the tin is easier. 

2.  Peel and core your bramley apple, then dice it into small cubes.  Add them to a saucepan with about two tablespoons of water, and a sprinkling of brown sugar.  Cook for a few minutes while stirring occasionally. 

3.  Whilst the apples are cooking you can make your crumble topping.  Dice your butter into small cubes and rub in the flour.  Stir in the golden caster sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon and 1 table spoon of the oats. 

4.  Set aside your crumble mixture so you can make your base.  In a separate bowl cream together your butter and sugar till it's light and fluffy in consistency.  Add the egg to the mixture and beat in well.  Then stir in the milk and flour until all the ingredients are well combined.  Your mixture should resemble a doughy cake mixture.

5.  Slowly stir in the apples to your base mixture ensuring that they're spread evenly amongst the mixture.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tray and then place the raspberries evenly over the mixture.

6.  Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the tray bake and then sprinkle over the other 2 tablespoons of oats.  Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until it is crisp and golden on the top. 

7.  Leave in the tray, on a cooling rack and cut whilst slightly warm.  Once your tray bake has cooled you can remove it from the tray for serving. 



I was so pleased with how this tray bake turned out, especially for a recipe I hadn't tried before.  A cake base with a crumble topping is something I hadn't heard of before, but it's so amazing and definitely something I want to try it with different recipes.


Carolyn 
x




SHARE:

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Gold In The Darkest Moments #7


It's been far too long since I sat at my laptop and thought about the things in my life that have made me smile recently.  I went through a stage when my Gold In the Darkest Moments posts were my favourite posts to write.  But then life got busy and I was also struggling to think of what to write for these posts.  But after my bible study this morning I realised that it's not just the big things I should be thankful for, I should take the time to share the little things that have made me happy as well. 

I'm currently sitting in my pj's cuddled up on my giant teddy bear (thanks for that Mhairi!), while feeling a little sorry for myself cause I've been choked up with the cold for a little while now and it's making me feel pretty lousy.  But, I'm going to push my icky ill feelings aside so I can share with you some of the things in my life that have made me happy recently. 



1.  My new slippers.
Like I said, you need to be thankful for the little things in life!  I got some lovely new slippers from George by Asda because my old ones had seen much better days.  These slippers are so cosy and after a long day at work I love putting them on and unwinding with a good book.


2.  Delight & Be
Delight & Be is a website and blog for young Christian women who are interested in the creative arts.  From baking, to fashion, to photography, there's something there for everyone!  This site has been so great for me growing in my faith, but also with improving my photography and my writing style.  I'm part of a few of the Delight & Be Facebook groups and I love these girls so much.  They're all so happy to listen to each other, pray for each other, and love each other.  Their hearts for Jesus are so wonderful! 



3.  A day in St Andrews
If you follow me on instagram (a cheeky little hint for you there) then you'll have seen a few of my photos from my recent trip to St Andrews.  I went there for a day to see my wonderful friend Annie who I'll be staying with in Australia next year.  We had such a lovely day together, and although the weather was windy and so, so cold we had such a wonderful time exploring St Andrews.


4.  Cosy nights in. 
It's winter so I'm spending many evenings snuggled up in my pj's, watching movies, listening to Christmas music, and doing Christmas crafts while it's socially acceptable to be snuggled up in my room all evening. 



5.  Frosty mornings. 
I had a lovely walk down to the bus stop the other morning, frost covered the ground and I could see my breathe.  Everything looked so crisp and fresh, it's got me very excited for Christmas!


6.  My mum, dad & sister.
I've been feeling pretty homesick recently so when I chatted to my mum and dad on the phone for quite a long time the other night it made me feel a lot better.  I also stayed with my sister a few weekends ago, it was so nice to properly catch up and go to church together. When I was younger I didn't appreciate my family, but now I'm realising how fortunate I am to be blessed with such an amazing family who make me feel so loved. 



7.  for King & Country
I love finding new music to listen too.  I sometimes struggle to find Christian/worship music that I enjoy but then I happened across for King & Country and I've been listening to them whenever I get the chance.  I absolutely love their newest album "Run Wild. Live Free.  Love Strong" their style of music is unlike anything I've heard from a Christian band and lyrically I think their relevant and raw which is great.  They've also released a Christmas EP this month which is so lovely!




8.  Free To Be Me by Staci Eldredge
I got this book at the beginning of October when I was back home for a couple of days.  I had heard of Staci Eldredge before but hadn't read any of her books but when I saw this at the Faith Mission bookshop I had a feeling it would be good for me.  So far I'm really enjoying it and I've learnt so much from this book, Staci writes in a way that you feel like you're having a chat with her in a coffee shop which I really enjoy. 


9.  Hot Chocolate.
It's the kind of weather that makes me drink countless hot chocolates.  I'll also never refuse marshmallows and whipped cream to go along with it, what can I say, I like to treat myself!



I hope you enjoyed this post, I'm really enjoying looking at my life in a way that I wouldn't otherwise do and appreciating the things that make me happy.  Let me know in the comments what's made you happy this week, I'd love to hear from you all.


This post is part of my Gold In The darkest Moments series, you can read the other posts from this series by clicking here


Carolyn 
x




SHARE:

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Delight & Learn To Skate


I love ice skating.  I've been going ice skating since I was really little, I've only ever done it for fun, nothing professional but I still really enjoy it.  Although I really like ice skating, I am so, so bad at it.  I grip the wall of the rink and drag myself around, I shuffle along the ice and if I slip even slightly I freak out. 

I went ice skating a few weeks ago with a couple of my friends and it was really good fun.  We only had half the rink so this meant I could shuffle round the edges quicker than normal!  I went with two of my friends, one of who used to play ice hockey and he's been trained in figure skating, and my other friend had just spent a few months in Canada going skating regularly with experienced skaters.  So it's safe to say I felt a little out of place. 

But, I decided to try and make the most of the two hours we had on the ice by hiring hockey skates for the first time and occasionally letting go of the side for a millisecond.  I was doing pretty well and was quite pleased with myself, until one of my friends decided he'd lean against the side so I'd have to let go of the side to move around him.  I freaked out. 

I tried to persuade him to move but he was pretty determined that I was going to let go of the side, after all I had had a death grip on the wall for the best part of an hour.  So, I tried to be brave and let go of the side, but next thing I knew he had grabbed my hands and was helping me to skate round the middle of the rink.  Although I was pretty scared at this point and was digging my nails into his wrists while squealing, I was pretty excited to not be dragging myself round the edge anymore.

But then he let go. 

I was left in the middle of the rink.  By myself.  The girl who cannot skate to save herself was standing in the middle of the ice rink scared beyond belief.  I was freaking out, trying to persuade one of my friends to come and help me out, but they left me in the middle willing me to be brave. 




I've been thinking about this day a lot, and about how so often I'll be heading one way and then God will step in because He wants me to go a different way.  I'll stand there and try to argue with him and I'll be stubborn and think that pulling myself along the edges of life is what I should be doing. 

But God grabs both my hands and pulls me into a big life adventure that I find so terrifying, but He's there holding my hands and guiding me along the whole way.  But a part of me doesn't trust Him, so I let go of His hands and I'm left alone, at least I feel like I am.  But as I struggle around like Bambi on ice He's there the entire time, He's watching over me carefully and if I fall He's the first one there to help me up, just like He has been my entire life.  So why do I still struggle to trust him the most? 


Yep, you heard me right.  My wonderful Father, God and Saviour is the one who I struggle to trust the most.  He's never given me a reason to not trust Him, in fact He's given me so many blessings and reasons to trust Him completely.  Yet, I'm still scared to hand over parts of my life to Him.  I'm scared to stop pulling myself around the edges of the ice rink in the little routine I've developed, I'm scared to let Him take things in a different direction. 

In a recent post I talked about how I've been struggling to trust God, to know that He has a plan for me that is bigger than anything I can imagine.  Although I am doing better at trusting Him and gradually building a stronger relationship with my Father, there's a part of my heart that I'm struggling to give to Him. 

I trust other people far too easily, I allow myself to be vulnerable and open, yet I can't give my heart over to my Father who will care for my heart better than I could ever imagine.  Even better, he will give me a completely new heart to love Him with and serve Him with.  I need to make Him the absolute centre of my heart and try my best to get rid of the things that are pulling me away from Him.  There are so many things in my heart that are taking His place and I want to change this, I want to have a Jesus centred heart. 



The thought of giving my heart completely to God is one that is daunting to me but I've recently learnt that my God is so powerful and magnificent that the thought of not completely giving my heart to Him is ridiculous. 

Yes, even if I completely give my heart to Him there will still be days when I feel like my God's left me alone in the middle of the ice rink, when really He's there the whole time watching over me and taking care of me, I just need to trust him with my heart.



Carolyn 
x




I'd just like to add a little note at the end to say that this post is dedicated to my wonderful friend Laura for putting up with me and my antics, as well as being an absolutely amazing friend and a true sister in Christ to me.


SHARE:

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Sweater Weather





I am not a fashion blogger.  I've never claimed to be one, and I probably never will.  But it's Autumn which is my favourite season, the leaves are beautifully gold and red, I'm drinking countless hot chocolates a day, and the weather's getting colder each day.  One of my favourite things about Autumn is that I can wrap up in oversized scarves, biker boots, and my favourite sweaters.  So, I enlisted the help of my amazing friend Lawson so I could share some of my favourite sweaters and jumpers with you all. 



New Look Maroon Jumper

I own a lot of maroon and burgundy items of clothing.  Mainly because it reminds me of Autumn, and there was that one time I was told I suited it and now I seem to have fallen in love with the colour.  This jumper is a couple of years old but is still one of my favourite sweaters to grab on a chilly day.  The only downside is that you have to wear a vest-top or t-shirt underneath due to the spaced out way it's been made, although this does mean you're extra toasty! 


Slouched Grey Sweater

I love a sweater that's slightly baggy because it means I can hide my tummy!  I own a lot of dark coloured clothes because it contrasts really nicely with my hair.  When I saw this sweater in New Look I wasn't sure whether to buy it or not, but my mum persuaded me too and I'm so glad she did.  Although the material is a little thinner than I'd like, it's actually quite handy for wearing to work as it means I'm not too warm when I'm inside.  This exact sweater isn't available anymore but you can buy a similar one here.


Boston Massachusetts Crewneck Sweater
After seeing a lot of jumpers in store with American university or college logos embossed on the front, I may have wanted to own at least five of my own.  My uncle brought this jumper back from America a few years ago to give to someone but they hadn't wanted it and it had been sitting in his house ever since.  When he offered it to me I may have snatched it out of his hand before he changed his mind.  I find crewneck jumpers so comfortable and this one has a wonderful fleece lining which is perfect for this time of year.  You can buy a similar one here



Carolyn Bell Photography
Carolyn Bell Photography
Carolyn Bell Photography



Grey Primark Cable Knit Jumper
I'm a sucker for good bargains in Primark, I'll go in with the intention of buying one item and leave with two full bags of shopping!  I bought this jumper on one of these occasions and it's one of the times that I don't regret having a little Primark splurge.  The knit on this jumper is quite chunky and I think this adds nice detailing to the entire jumper.  You can buy one similar here


Black Chevron Tape Sweater
New Look is probably my favourite place to go clothes shopping, I always seem to find something that I like there, and their high waisted skinny jeans are the comfiest things I've ever owned.  I bought this sweater a little while ago and I really like it.  Although I don't wear it as often as I'd like because I struggle to find jeans that I like with it, I really do like this jumper.  It's a crewneck style but a little more fitted which I really like as I think it helps to enhance your figure slightly more than a normal crewneck sweater. You can buy this sweater from New Look here.


Oversized Maroon Sweater
Yet another maroon sweater!  It's also knitted!  And it's oversized!  All my favourite things in one amazingly cosy jumper.  I was visiting my sister up north when I bought this jumper and they only had it in a large which I'm now so grateful for.  This is the kind of jumper I can just throw on when I'm feeling too lazy to bother with being fussed about what I'm wearing, although the slits on the side add a nice detailing to give the look a little more effort.  It's also great for layering up in the colder weather and looks great with an oversized scarf.  You can buy a similar jumper here.



I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of the jumpers that are going to be the staples in my Autumn wardrobe this year.  I had a lot of fun having these pictures taken, be sure to check out Lawson's instagram and Facebook page, he is a seriously talented photographer.  Let me know in the comments about some of the items that will be regulars in your wardrobe this Autumn, I'd love to hear from you.


Carolyn 
x


SHARE:

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Delight & Trust His Plans


The past week has been quite up and down for me.  I was working a seven day week from Tuesday to Monday, and I was exhausted by Saturday evening.  I visited my friend Sarah during my break on Sunday and told her how I had been feeling distant from God that week and how lost I felt because of it.  We talked for a long time and Jeremiah 29:11-14 came into my head and stuck with me for the rest of the day. 



My God has a plan for me.  And this simple fact is incredible.  I am so undeserving of His love and His care, what have I ever done to deserve this from my creator?  But that's the thing, it's not about what I've done, it's about what Jesus has already done for me and this is something that I forget.  I should be living my life to bring glory to Him because of what He's already done for me, He died and rose again for me, so I should be after His heart and following His plan for me.   

I've realised that I don't want anything else for my life except His plan for me, because anything else feels worthless without Him. 

I need to learn how to live my life for Him on a daily basis.  To do the littlest of things for His glory, whether it's helping to cook a meal for eighty campers, hanging up washing, writing a blog post, taking photographs, talking to my friends, I should be living for Him in everything that I can.  This isn't going to be easy because I'm human so I'm going to make mistakes and have grumpy days, but I need to focus on Him above everything and know that every day is a part of His plan for me. 




If my heart isn't centred on God then I can't follow His plan for me, even if His plan scares me, even if this means travelling to the other side of the world by myself (which I'll be doing next year), even if it's doing something I'd never imagined I would do, then if it's for Him it'll be worth it and the outcome will be for Him. 

But I'll only be able to live for Him if I have a relationship with Him.  I need to learn to listen to God, to talk to Him, and to read His word every day.  To turn to Him with the simplest of things instead of letting my own worries get in the way.  If I turn to Him first when things are getting to me, and I hand my burdens over to Him then following His plan for me will be so much easier if I have Him at the heart of everything I do. 

I've spent so long overcomplicating my faith and trying to make it out to be this big, philosophical, inspiring thing.  When really all it's just God loving me, and me loving Him, learning to trust Him and walk in His light. 



Carolyn 
x



SHARE:

Monday, 19 September 2016

Delight & Learn To Be Fearless



I'm quite a worrier, I get anxious easily, and I'm scared of the day I never saw.  I will spend hours worrying about situations that are yet to happen or might never happen.  But over the past couple of weeks God's been challenging the worrisome mind-set that I have.   He's telling me to stop being scared, and to trust in Him.  For me this is turning out to be a lot easier said than done, but I am slowly learning. 

Since the start of summer I've felt distant from God until recently when I learnt a very important and difficult but simple lesson.  And that is to give it up.  Whatever it is that you're carrying, that secret you've kept for years, that battle you've been fighting for months, that thing you've been struggling with but you're too proud to ask for help.  Give it up.  Give it over to God, let it go and let Him take care of it.  Because He's your Father and if He can't take care of it, then who can?

I've been stumbling my way through these past few months, and gradually hurting more and more, and feeling sorry for myself in the tough times I've been in.  But then my friend shared James 1:2-4 with me and it was something I needed to hear. 


This was an encouragement because it reminded me that everyone goes through low points in their faith, we're human and we mess up so it's impossible to constantly feel on fire for God.
It was a bit of a slap in the face because being told that the difficulties you're facing are a "sheer joy" isn't really what you want to hear when you're feeling completely hopeless and lost in your faith.
But, this passage was the kick up the butt that I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself, hand my fears over to God and start making more of an effort to face challenges and life in general with Gods love fuelling me rather than my own fear, because I've learnt the hard way that that won't get me anywhere.

When we feel like we're facing a constant battle in our faith, we can sometimes feel like we're hanging by a thread of faith.  That thread of faith is better than no thread at all because faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.  And although we might only be hanging onto a single thread, God has a stronger thread hanging onto us constantly. The thread of God's love is constantly getting stronger as he does everything He can to bring us closer to Him, even when we feel like this this thread is invisible.  Even on the days when we're crying out to Him in loneliness, He's there watching over us and working in us to make us stronger. 

I'm trying my best to hand my fears, my anxieties and my worries over to God.  Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's not, and sometimes it has crazy outcomes. 

One thing is teaching me through fearlessness is to feel content within myself.  Although I still have days when I look in the mirror and my attention goes straight to my flaws.  But I'm slowly learning to accept my jiggly thighs, flabby tummy, and spotty skin as who God has made me to be, and if I really want to change this then it's up to me to do it.  I'm accepting that I giggle far too easily, and far too loudly.  I'm learning that I talk far too much, and I talk far too quickly.  I'm learning that to love myself I need to fill myself with a love for God, and then everything else, including contentment with who I am, will gradually fall into place.  This doesn't meant that I'm suddenly going to stop worrying, or that I won't face trials, it just means that I'm facing life with God by my side and He's teaching me to be fearless.



I'm learning to say yes to things that scare me and to try my best to not worry about them before they come.  Because God wouldn't make me feel like I should do these things, if He wasn't going to give me the courage and the words to say.  Which is why I'm going to Australia for a month next year (INTERNALLY SCREAMS IN DISBELIEF!!), I'm leading a Bible study tonight that I've only been attending for a few weeks, and I'm trying to tackle my hospital appointments with God instead of by myself. 

I'm slowly but surely learning to trust in God instead of being controlled by my own fear.  It's not easy but the outcome is beautiful because I know it's Gods will and that feels amazing. 


Carolyn
x







SHARE:

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Back to Blogging




I'm finally back at the blogging game after a (very) busy summer and I can't actually tell you how happy this makes me.  This is just going to be a little update post about what I've been up too recently and what I'm hoping to do with my little blog over the upcoming months.  
Last summer I started a new full time (full on) job.  I work at a Christian outdoor activity centre which meant that this summer was chaotic, busy, non-stop, fulfilling, tiring, craziness.   There were points when I felt so drained that I could have slept for days, and there were times when I didn’t want days to end because I just felt so happy and content.  Overall at this stage in my life I can’t see myself doing anything other than this job because I know it’s where God wants me to be, even if there are tough days.  




I've got a lot of plans and ideas for getting back into blogging again, starting with a new design/layout.  Although this might not happen first, it's definitely going to be something I want to get going soon and it'll be a "work in progress" for a few weeks. 

Something I don’t talk about a lot on my blog is the fact that I’m a Christian, but over the past couple of weeks I’ve found myself really growing in my faith and trying really hard to build a better relationship with God.  Something that’s helping this is the online community for creative Christian women called Delight & Be.  Which is why I’m going to try and start a series on here where I talk about my faith, what Bible passages I’ve been reading, and the work that I’m doing to grow in my faith.  I’m going to call the series “Delight &” because I’m trying to learn how to truly delight in my faith. 


There’s so much music I’ve found over the past couple of months that I’m so excited to share with you all, there’s bands I’ve blogged about before, as well as some new ones, and I have a few album dissection posts lined up that I hope you’ll enjoy.   I'm really excited to get back into sharing the music that I love with you guys



Since April I’ve been attending hospital for something quite important that has been affecting me hugely.  I’m not ready to share it on here yet but it is a huge part of my life that I struggle with and I think it’s an important thing to talk about.  Although I’m not ready too, I hope that I’ll be able to blog about it soon as a way to deal with myself, but also to raise awareness and maybe some understanding about it as well. 

It's been too long since I posted something for my Becoming Your Own hero series, I have a mixture of ideas of where this series could go, I even considered ending the series.  But I don't think I'm quite ready for this yet.  A little series I started to coincide with these posts is my Gold In The Darkest moments series which I miss so, so much because it was a way for me to appreciate the little things in my life that make me happy so I'm really excited to start it up again. 


Sorry this post is more information than anything else, hopefully I'll be able to get back into blogging as regularly as I can while still working full time.  I hope you guys have enjoyed this post, I'm looking forward to writing a more 'proper' blog post for you all soon.




Carolyn
x
Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Bloglovin


SHARE:

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Gold In The Darkest Moments #6

So, I started this series on my blog with the intention of posting weekly.  That worked out well - just imagine how much sarcasm is dripping from my voice right now considering I haven't posted for this series in quite a while!  The past few weeks have been a complete rollercoaster of emotions but I'm going to pick through it and share some of my happier moments from the past few weeks. 


1.  Talking to a friend.
This seems like a simple thing but I've been talking to a dear friend recently and it's been helping me a lot.  This person is very special to me and I'm so grateful to be able to talk to them openly and know that I'm not being judged.   


2.  With Confidence

If you read my last post then you'll know that one of my favourite bands is Aussie pop punkers With Confidence.  I started listening to them a couple of months ago and now I'm at that stage were I'm listening to them on repeat and I've pre-ordered their debut album.  Their music makes me really happy.


3.  Weddings.

In the space of two weeks I attended two weddings and it was so lovely.  To be able to witness the marriage of my cousin and her now husband, and then that of two of my closest friends was so beautiful.  I still feel so honoured that I was able to be a part of what was such a special day for both these couples.  It also made the fairy-tale lover/romanticist in me cry like a baby and be completely beside myself with pure happiness during both the ceremonies. 


4.   Flowers. 


One of my favourite things to photograph is flowers.  I don't know why but I just love to photograph flowers.  So I ended up taking way too many photos of flowers at the weddings I attended and also on the walks I've been on recently, it's made me really happy.  I've realised that if I ever had the opportunity to photograph The RHS Chelsea Flower Show I might actually cry in excitement. 


5.   Watching Jacks Gap on YouTube. 


Jack and Finn Harries are definitely some of my favourite creators on YouTube.  Their videos are unique and exciting, although they haven't released a video in about 6 months they still have one of my favourite channels on YouTube


Like I said earlier, these past few weeks have been an absolute rollercoaster for me.  There's a few things that I'm struggling with that have been weighing down on my heart immensely, it hurts so much.  But being able to find some gold amongst the black is helping me along.  Let me know in the comments what's made you happy over the past few weeks, I'd love to hear from you. 



Carolyn
x

Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Bloglovin


SHARE:

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Gold In The Darkest Moments #5

Yes I know, it isn't a Wednesday but I'm writing a Gold In The Darkest Moments post.  But, I haven't been able to blog in a couple of weeks because having a unique, full time job is pretty time consuming.  I have a day off so I wanted to write a post and share some of the things from the past few weeks that have made me happy. 


 
1.  BBQ at the beach.
Last Monday evening I went out with a bunch of my friends for a BBQ at the beach and it was so lovely.  The weather was great and it was nice to hang out with my closest friends. 


2.  Changing my wardrobe.
If you've been hanging around my blog for a while then you might remember me writing this post.  When I wrote that post my wardrobe mainly consisted of black jeans, black hoodies, and band t-shirts.
I've recently started wearing more dresses, skirts, cardigans, and plain t-shirts.  I've been styling myself on Dodie Clark and Tanya Burr for inspiration.  This has made me really happy and I'm enjoying finding new clothes to wear and having some fun when putting together outfits. 


3. FaceTime with Dani. 
A little while ago my friend Gordy let me hijack his phone so I could FaceTime my friend Dani who lives in Canada.  It was so  nice to talk to her, meet one of her housemates over video, and get excited over how cute her pet cats are.  Dani is one of my best friends and I miss her dearly, but I was so happy to have the chance to actually talk to her. 




4.  Oh Wonder. 
I've started listening to the group Oh Wonder and I love them so much.  I bought their self titled album today, I'm listening to it while typing this post and I'm really enjoying it.  Their music is pretty different to what I normally listen too but I really love it, it's so unique and captivating. 




5.  Chocolate chats.
Sometimes you just need to sit on a big industrial freezer, break open a galaxy bar, and have a good talk with 3 of your closest friends. 


6.  Flip flops!
I bought a pair of flip flops from Primark recently and I've been wearing them as often as I can, it feels so good to be in them!  They are so comfy and it makes me feel very summer-y when I'm wearing flip flops.  Also, a fun thing that myself and the two girls I share an office with have started is 'Flip Flop Fridays' and it's a fun little thing to have together! 



7.  The Selection Series by Kiera Cass 
For quite a while I've wanted to read The Selection series but for some reason I kept putting it off.  I finally bought the first book and got hooked very quickly.  From the ball gowns, to the romance, to the rebels, I've loved this series and have found myself immersing myself in the regal world of The Selection.  Today I bought the book of short stories to accompany the series as well as the fourth book and I'm so excited to start reading them! 



I hope you've enjoyed this update post, if you'd like to read the other posts in my Gold In The Darkest Moments series then click here.  Although I'm struggling with running my blog while having a full time job I'm hoping to find a balance soon and get back into posting regularly.
Let me know in the comments about some of the things that have made you happy over the past week.  Ha



Carolyn
x

Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Bloglovin




SHARE:

Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Baking Diaries | Madeira Cupcakes with Orange Frosting



It feels so good to be having a quite day where I can just sit at my laptop and type up a blog post (and by this I mean sitting on my roommates bed, stealing chips from her KFC and listening to James Blunt).  This past week has been extremely busy workwise for me, it was full of ups and downs and I'm so tired but I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.  My week ahead is yet another busy work week but I'm looking forward to it. 

I haven't baked in a while because I've been working but I thought I'd share a recipe with you all that I tried a while ago and loved.  The madeira cupcake recipe that I use is from a Marks & Spencer cupcake book that was published in 2008 and is one of my favourite baking books that I own. 





Ingredients


For the cupcakes:

180g unsalted butter (softened)
170g caster sugar (superfine)
3 eggs
165g plain flour
2tsp plain flour
1tsp finely grated orange zest
1tbspn orange juice


For the icing:

250g icing sugar (sifted)
125g unsalted butter (softened)
1tbspn orange juice


Firstly you need to preheat your oven to 180 degrees (I use a fan oven) and line a standard muffin tin with 12 paper cases. 

Next you need to beat together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Then add the eggs one at a time, beating the mixture after adding each egg.   Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixing bowl and fold into the mixture.  Then fold in the orange zest and orange juice until all the ingredients are combined. 



Divide the mixture evenly between the cases then bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes (or until a skewer placed in the cakes comes out clean).  Place the cupcakes on a wire cooling rack. 



While waiting for your cupcakes to cool you can, make the orange flavoured icing.  Measure out the butter and orange juice into a large mixing bowl.  Gradually add the icing sugar to the bowl, mixing together after each addition.  Continue to mix the icing until you have a smooth consistency to the mixture.  If you wish you can add orange food colouring, however I prefer not to add this. 
Using an icing knife, spread the icing on top of each cupcake then decorate as desired.  I decorated mine with silver sugar balls. 



I really enjoyed baking these cupcakes and they taste divine, the texture of the sponge is so unique for a cupcake but is still really yummy!  Let me know in the comments what you think of the recipe, I'd love to hear your opinions, and let me know if you try baking them yourself! 

Carolyn
x



SHARE:

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Gold In The Darkest Moments #4

Another week gone already.  This week has seemed really long for me, it feels like ages since I last posted, even though it's only been seven days.  My emotions have been a rollercoaster this week, although I've doing pretty good which has been nice.  I'm going to share some of the highlights with you. 


1.  Amazing photo opportunities. 
I've been trying really hard to photograph more often, it's something that I love doing but haven't been doing often enough.  There have been a few gorgeous sunrises this week and I've been fortunate enough to capture them before I go to work. 



2.  Spending time with my friends at work.
I've been making more of an effort to hang out with the people that I work with in the evenings, even if it meant four of us in the kitchen dancing to uptown funk, sitting up chatting with a handful of people talking till one am, or rearranging one of our rooms into chair/blanket forts and watching a movie on a projector screen. 



3.  Pizza party. 
One of the things that we done as a group was have a pizza making party which then resulted in us building chair forts and watching a movie.  It was so much fun and I had a great time.  Shopping beforehand in Asda was even fun, ten of us walking around with various trolleys, me falling over cause my shoes were really slippy, and one of my friends walking around in his bare feet cause 'who needs shoes?'. 
We also had good drives with great music to Asda and back and it was a really fun evening. 




4.  Meals out.
On my day off I went out for lunch with a few of my friends and then almost everyone from my work ended up going out for tea together.  I ate way too much food that day!  When we went out for tea I only ordered a pudding, I was so full!!



5. Baking. 
I baked S'more Brownies last night and I'm really pleased with how they turned out.  It was so fun to make them, especially since I won't be able to bake over the next couple of weeks cause work is going to be really busy. 


I hope you enjoyed this post, I really enjoyed writing it.  I probably won't be able to post in this series next week due to being extremely busy at work cause our Easter camps are starting.  But hopefully I'll be able to share something.  Please let me know in the comments how your weeks have been, I'd love to hear from you.




Carolyn
x



SHARE:
MINIMAL BLOGGER TEMPLATES BY pipdig