Wednesday, 4 March 2015

BAKING | Milk & White Chocolate Cookies.

Hey Guys!
Hope your all well?
 
Today I thought I would share a recipe with you all after a bunch of people requested it after seeing me post photos of cookies I have been making.
This is my second attempt of photos because I lost the first lot of triple choc cookie photos - grrr (don't worry I will upload that recipe soon too ! )
 
 
In February I baked these cookies about 5 times,
They are super quick and easy to bake and went down really well so I knew I had to share the recipe with you.
 
Ingredients
 
200g Butter
300g Caster Sugar
325g Self Raising Flour
1 Large Egg
200g White Chocolate
200g Milk Chocolate
 
 
Take your room temp butter and mix this in with your sugar - since I don't have a fancy mixer I just get in there with my hands. If you ask me that's what baking is all about !

 
Make a well in the centre of your mixture and crack in your egg.

 
 
Then gradually pop in your flour, you should sieve it in but I don't have a sieve so I just gradually pop it in, but I have never had a bad result doing this so who knows...
If your mixture looks a tad too dry then just add in a dash of milk.
 
 
Once you have your cookie dough you then want to break your chocolate into your bowl,I added in a bit of dark chocolate I had left in the baking cupboard and at this point you really can put in whatever you want.
I even did a batch of white chocolate and raspberry cookies recently and they were fab, just be sure to the follow the main recipe for the dough.
 
To make sure the chocolate spreads evenly you want to take the dough from the bottom of the mixing bowl and bring it up to the top, and keep doing that until its evenly mixed again.

 
Roll your dough into ten equal balls then pop them onto a baking tray and into the oven at 200c for 12 minutes - Yes just trust me, nly 12 minutes no longer!
Above I have put five on each tray but if you have the time / oven space pop three on each tray as these cookies really do spread out,so prevents them getting stuck together during the bake.

 
Once baked you need to let them cool for 25 minute's, which will leave you with a crunchy outside and a gooey inside YUM!

 
These are super easy and quick to bake so I hope you all enjoy giving them a go and mixing up the flavours inside of them, I will be uploading some more baking posts soon, so feel free to comment below any things you would like to see me bake :)
 
Stay Safe & Speak Soon.
Kate
x o x o
 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Monthly Round Up | FEBRUARY

Hey Guys !
Hope your all well ?
 
Another Month has flown by so here I am about to tell you all about my February.
I hope you all had a great month, here is what I got up to.
 
Told my anxiety where to go...
 
This month has been an amazing month for me and dealing with my anxiety.
I have been to a bloggers event, had a few other days full of meeting people due to my blog and not one anxiety attack has come.
This month has been a pretty hectic one and then we found out Gareth will be going a way for a few months at some point with work so usually this would be a huge trigger, but using breathing techniques, every time I have got through it with no problem at all!
I have been so proud of myself and it's allowing me to do so much more - Wahoo.
I have been using a few apps that I think may have helped so will do a blog post telling you all about those soon. Just shows sometimes you just have to push past that anxious feeling and it gets easier each time then.
 
 
Got our new puppies.
 
The big thing this month was when we got our new little puppies - Squidge & Smudge.
They are brothers and are cocker spaniels, they are beautiful little boys, cheeky though of course!
They are getting there last injections at the end of the month and am so excited to get them out walking with us - more than anything to drain some of there surplus energy bless them.
As you can imagine I currently have a iPhone full of puppy photos so be sure to follow them over on instagram - yes they have so many pictures they have an instagram (@squidge_smudge)
 
 
Getting my bake on!
 
I have always loved to cook since I left home, and always share recipes here on my blog (lots more on the way!) but I have never really taken to baking - until this month.
What put me off baking is you have to be so accurate where as with cooking you can pretty much change up a recipe and its fine, but with baking it needs to be a bit more structured but I have been making cookies and brownies nearly every weekend this month - so I am pretty sure my waistline dislikes me. I have been sending them into work with Gareth though and he has said they were a win at work, so with my new found love for baking I think the lads he works with will be happy enough to keep receiving cookies on their tea breaks !
 
This month has been a very exciting yet normal month for me,
A lot has changed, A lot has stayed the same.
That's life really isn't it, just because people seem to be doing super exciting things around you it doesn't mean your personal life is any less interesting :)
 
Stay Safe & Speak Soon
Kate
x o x o
 


Thursday, 26 February 2015

Reason behind lack of body confidence?


Hey Guys!
Hope your all well?

Now I have been seeing a few images circling facebook which just really hit a nerve with me, and decided I wanted to chat about here..
I completely understand men also have problems with body image and body confidence but today I want to talk about women (a male post is coming soon for you lads.)


Source : Facebook.com

This was the image that I saw and it made me actually feel really quite sad.
In the image a girl is stood looking at herself in the mirror and she zips down her side and takes out stuffing from her body then she is seen to be sparkling looking in the mirror of a thinner version of herself.

Source : Google.

Then when researching into more of these types of images for this post I found this post about change.
The character evidently looses weight and is seen to be smiling..

These kind of images ?
They make me feel so angry and sad.
I understand as much as anyone else we aren't always happy with the ways we look but posting images like these just gives drive to these thoughts and all I can think is what age girls are viewing these on social media and thinking they need to change?
 


This image in particular actually made me want to cry..
Back in 2013 I was going through a pretty bad time when it came to my body confidence and I remember feeling just like this image indicates.
I remember looking at my post transplant stomach and hating it, I have been left with excess skin and deep stretch marks all over my body from the fluctuating weight liver failure put me through and I felt disgusting.
The problem was never with my scar as I have always seen my 'shark bite' as my mark of survival as such, but I hated how I looked.



With help I learnt that this wasn't a healthy way to think, and it was a much more rooted issue linked to more emotional things going on in my life at the time.
I am now in a much happier place, but still from time to time struggle and seeing images like these just make me blood boil, images like these just justify how young people may be feeling so they think its okay to have such a distorted image of themselves - yes we all have days where we would probably change how we looked from time to time but to feel like you want to take scissors to your stomach ? that's a whole new extreme that needs to be spoke about.


But then I come round to the one thing that I think is a huge part to play with a lack in body confidence and body image - girls being bitches about other girls.
Now I'm not saying everyone does this, as I know myself I don't but when I see images like the one above it makes me so angry.
Who is one person to judge another?

I have been on both sides of the spectrum,as a young teen I carried a bit of weight then lost it and was just really curvy at the end of school/before transplant and then after transplant lost a ton of weight, so much so had to have a ng tube put in to help me gain weight (an ng tube gives you a liquidised diet through your nose directly to your stomach)

 

Year 7 & Year 11.

 
Before transplant number 3,as you can see the first image my stomach is full of fluid and then my weight plummeted.
 
 
Stomach post transplant.
Here my stomach is very flat but the truth is, I wasn't in good health!
So really what is more important - our figure or our health?
 
Sadly though I was scrutinised and laughed at for being all sizes, but I must say when I was 6 stone due to my transplant people would really stare and make horrible comments but they didn't know WHY I was so thin,proof that we never know why people are the size they are and what they are going through !
 
When I was 6 stone though I didn't realise just how thin I was until I look back now at 10 stone.
This really scares me as it shows just how easy it is to have a distorted self image.
When I was at a healthy weight in year 11 (and currently) I was very body confident, and this showed as I ignored anything negative people had to say.
 
I still struggle with the way I look from time to time, but deep down I know there is nothing at all wrong with the way I look - we are ALL beautiful.

So honestly girls bitching on girls?
Come on what's going on there ladies?
Instead lets reinforce how BEAUTIFUL woman of all sizes are!
Together we can promote a healthy body image :)
So maybe think in future if you are about to scrutinise someone's image, if you have nothing nice to say? Stay quite.

Stay Safe & Speak Soon
Kate
x o x o
 
 
 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Emotional Brilliance Reading @ LUSH Swindon.

Hi Guys!
Hope your all okay?
 
This weekend I fancied popping into Lush Swindon to have a nosey at the Mothers Day Range - And I honestly felt like I was betraying Lush Luton (Sorry guys see you in around 2 weeks ha)
 
After picking up a few goodies (Haul coming soon)
I got chatting to the Manager Aan-Sofie and she remembered I had wanted to have a emotional brilliance reading so figured I would tell you all a little about it!
 

The whole point of these 'readings' is backed by Lush's beliefs that a colour can be linked to how we feel.
So on the wheel there is an array of different colours and on the flip side of each is a positive word.

These words have been assigned to a colour when a team at lush were asked what they thought of when they looked at each colour - pretty awesome right?
 
 
The lushie (member of lush staff!) will ask you to close your eyes and clear your mind...
And then on a count of three you open your eyes and pick the three colours which catch your eyes first.
The interesting thing about emotional brilliance readings is that they won't necessarily be the same each time as we are always looking for different things all the time (will explain what I mean next)

 
The order you pick these colours are also relevant so they get laid out in the order you picked them.
 
The First Colour is supposed to explain a trait you are currently feeling/portraying and mine was Fantasy which is completely accurate as I am a real dreamer and have a very child like excitement about me - especially when in lush!
 (although looking at all my 'words' together they sounded like some kind of thing from 50 shades!)
 
The second is supposed to be something your currently looking for in your subconscious and my word was Strong which is also very true as I am always looking for more inner strength to battle past my social anxiety and I always feel like I must prove I am not weak..
 
And the third is supposed to be your talent which will help you achieve and accomplish the second word, which again makes sense as my word was Passionate and I feel exactly that towards my blog and helping others which in turn helps me feel strong to keep going and achieving more.

 
The whole idea in itself is already absolutely fantastic and I can't wait for the bloggers event in Reading to give it a try again and see what it all works out like.
But to make it even better each word represents one of there makeup pieces in the range which happens to be the same colour as the circles you choose.
 
Fantasy  is a beautiful gold eyeliner, one that I will defiantly be purchasing at some point I am sure!
Strong is a beautiful coral orange/red lipstick that will be amazing for the summer!
Passionate is a bright magenta lipstick which is an amazing party shade ! 
 
I really enjoyed the reading and thought it was a really fun way at finding make up shades you will love all via the subconscious of your mind - aren't our brains amazing?


 
So much so even Gareth had a reading, which I was giggling away at,
for any of you interested his words were In Charge, Control and Independence - all VERY accurate.
 
Why not have a reading next time you pop into your local lush instead of thinking 'Ooh whats that spinning circle thing for?..'
 
All the emotional brilliance products are priced at £14.50 which is amazing as they are super pigmented and you could totally use them as multi use products.
 
Will you be giving this a go soon?
 
Stay Safe & Speak Soon
Kate
x o x o

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Squidge & Smudge..

Hey Guys!
Hope your all well?
Any of you who follow me over on Twitter - @KateJakes__ or My Talking Transplants Facebook Page you will already know that we now own two puppies!
 
 
They are two cocker spaniel puppies,
We got them we they were ten weeks old (so 12 weeks now).
When we went to see them we instantly fell in love with them  - and there mom I may add as she had this amazing quiff thing going on so here's to hoping we have fluffy cocker spaniels when the are older!
 
 
This is Smudge.
He currently is the pup wearing a black collar, but what really tells him apart from his brother is his one black ear and one black and white ear!
Smudge is the most adventurous out of the two and is into EVERYTHING  - Including my new cameras flash... Naughty Pup!
He is the smaller of the two puppies though, but he sure rules the roost out of the two.
 
 
And then we have Squidge - Wearing the Red Collar.
The more reserved pup of the two, but very chunky and loves his food (I think he may be me in dog form ha)
He loves to have his ears rubbed and act all innocent, but we are learning it is him that is showing smudge naughty things to do then runs before he gets caught.
So he puts those cute puppy dog eyes to use every day!
 
 
They are brothers as we really wanted them from the same litter if we were going to have two pups at once.
 
 
 
They are the sweetest little things - when sleeping of course!
The spaniel in them makes them rather excitable when they are awake ha.
They love to play together, and they are real little pups playing fetch with sticks in the garden, but that said they are both a tad in love with a toy pheasant and duck, living in the Cotswold's where these are both around may be interesting when they are a bit bigger oops..
 
 
 
 
At the minute they are just playing in the house and garden as they haven't had there jabs so they can't be walked just yet, but goes without saying I am pretty excited to get them out on leads and walking around the picturesque village we live in.
 
 
 
They have settled in amazingly well.
The first night they were here they got all bathed and cuddled with us (third photo is Squidge post bath, how cute?) which we were shocked by as usually it takes a while for puppy's to really bond with you.
Since then though I can't take a bath in peace they always jump up and have a nosey, not ideal when they have super long ears that DO get in the bath, little monkeys!

 
Crazy Spaniel Face!
The faces they pull are hilarious, I remember my best friends springer spaniel making this face all the time when we were younger and always makes me giggle.
 

 Aren't they just the sweetest?
I can't wait to start sharing more photos with you all  but for now you can follow an instagram account I have made especially for the pups - who doesn't like cute puppy photos?
The instagram is  squidge_smudge if you fancy having a nosey..
 
I will also have a vlog going up soon over on my youtube channel from the day we picked them up.
 
Stay Safe & Speak Soon.
Kate (Smudge & Squidge..)
 
x o x o
 
 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Is sticking to trends really that important?


Hey Guys!
Hope your all okay?
 
I have always wondered whether wearing an outfit can really change your mood,
like if you wear a favourite top or jeans it can pick up your day.
 
But when I tried on this dress - well I fell in LOVE.
 
 
I picked up this sunflower dress in a Misguided sale not to long ago after wanting it since October.
Sadly it is no longer in stock but I really wanted to have a little chat about it.
 
You know when people say - an outfit can completely change your mood and for a long time I really didn't believe that could be the case.
 
As someone who has spent months at a time in hospital though I have learnt over time that this is very much true even if it be a nice new pair of pyjamas (and trust me in hospital that is the most amazing thing ever and I'm sure many other patients would agree.)
 
 
This got me thinking,
Fashion really is pretty incredible.
It allows us to express ourselves so well, and I think its great that people choose to do this.
 
As soon as I put on this dress I instantly feel happier,
so it just shows,if you dress in something you feel comfortable in?
It instantly shows!
 
What I am really trying to get at is how important it is to dress for YOU.
This dress may have been made to worn in the summer, but pop on some tights and a jacket and your good to go!
You really don't need to dress to be in with the latest trends, fashions or seasons, but if what you enjoy wearing is a trend right now then that's great too!
 
 
 
I know this is a pretty random post but I saw something over on the dreaded facebook slating people who don't spend much on clothes etc and it made me sad.
It shocks me that people let such things define others,so shallow and its no wonder people suffer with low self esteem these days.
 
So whether you want to wear a ball gown, a Winnie the pooh onesie or a tracksuit, all that matters is you are comfortable and happy!
 
And trust me, a girl who lived in pjammas for over 4 months,
when it comes down to it, what you wear is not important,
so if your going to wear anything let it be a SMILE.
(or a sunflower covered dress hehe)
 
Stay Safe & Speak Soon
Kate
x o x o

Thursday, 12 February 2015

The BEST gift you could give this Valentines..

Hey Guys!
Hope your all well ?
 
So here it is again, getting closer and closer to Valentines Day.
The one day every year where the focus is on Love.
Maybe your in a relationship or single - What ever your situation there is no escaping the obvious show of affection everywhere!
 
I am a sucker for 'holidays' and Valentines Day is absolutely no different for me.
This year though, I do feel differently.
 
14th February 2013 - Was the day I was finally discharged after my Third Liver Transplant.
That year I was over whelmed with the feeling of love.
 
 
I really wanted to chat about this after my friend Stacie has taken part in a campaign this Valentines Day called 'Give your heart' which is hoping to make people think about joining the organ donor register this Valentines day - Please watch the short video below :)
 
 
So what made me feel differently about valentines this year?
I have an amazing husband who shows me he loves me all year round, and as much as I love the novelty of a day surrounded it,well I don't need it..
 
But there are people this valentines day who NEED a gift,
the valuable gift of life.
 
This valentines?
I will be spending it with Gareth, appreciating the amazing gift that keeps giving - Organ Donation.
 
 
I remember Valentines 2013 so vividly as I felt such love for my donors,
as I got to return home after months in hospital and enjoy the amazing things life had to offer, and weeks later not that I knew it then I would start to talk to my now Husband.
 
Life has a funny way of working out,
And I couldn't wish more for someone to get there call for transplant more than Stacie.
(She also writes a blog at Life is Worth The Fight)
 
So why not think about joining the register and giving someone like Stacie the chance of loving life this valentines day and every day after?
 
Stay Safe, Speak Soon
& Have an amazing Valentines Day.
 
x o x o