‘Them: Adventures With Extremists’ – Book of the Week

By now you should all know what a massive Jon Ronson fan I am. I have already written two reviews of ‘The Psychopath Test‘ and ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed‘, and I adored both of these books. Again, I did really enjoy this book, but I would not say it is as strong as the other two.

Ronson talks to a wide variety of characters to get a total understanding of different kings of extremists. He talks to an Islamic Fundamentalist, various KKK (Ku Klux Klan) branches, and even members of the Bilderberg group. He explores lizards ruling us in the form of Beyonce and Queen Elizabeth II. Gun lobbying white supremacists. Jihadis looking to take down the British government. These earlier topics were so interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed reading and learning about them.

Although I did enjoy the novel, as I stated before I felt that it was not as strong as his other texts. Perhaps this is an unpopular opinion, but I felt some of the chapters were weaker and a bit repetitive. There are a few chapters dedicated to the Bilderberg group, which was relatively interesting but there was not enough substance to justify that much time. I would have liked more chapters on the KKK or Sharia Law advocates as these are the real extremist groups I think people were hoping to read about when they saw this novel. However, what is good about Ronson’s books is that the chapters are all separate stories, and so if one does not take your fancy then you can easily skip ahead to the next chapter.

Ultimately though I do recommend this book as it gives an interesting insight into the lives of these extremists. In true Ronson style, it is approached with a light-heartedness that does not make this a heavy read. He never truly mocks these extremists, rather tries to understand them, all while under the threat of them finding out that he is Jewish. His kind and respectable manner enables the extremists to trust him and we see a side of them that the world does not get to see.

This was only a short review as I think my blog content is a little Ronson heavy! Just wanted to share my opinion with you guys. What did you think of the book? And do you have any recommendations for me? Please let me know in the comments below!

To buy the book on amazon, click the image below:

‘Them: Adventures With Extremists’, £6.48, Amazon

 

Free Audible Download Link:

 

If you are interested then Amazon has given me the opportunity of offering you guys a 30 Day Free Trial with Kindle Unlimited! It’s like Netflix but for eBooks! There are over 1 million ebooks and audiobooks and you get to read an unlimited amount. The first 30 days is absolutely free with the link below, and after that it is only £7.99 a month, however you get to cancel at any time if you are unhappy with the service (which I highly doubt). That’s only £7.99 per month for unlimited books and audiobooks! And the first month is free? Unbelievable. You don’t even need a kindle! You can just download the free app onto your smartphone or tablet. If  you are ready to KindleUnlimited and Chill then just click the link below:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/kindle-dbs/hz/signup?tag=evelynrichard-21

Lots of love, Evie x

Favourite Beauty Products – January 2019

I have a few posts floating around with various hair and face products and I have had a few questions from you guys asking what my favourite this or that is. I thought I would compile a list here! This list may change in a few months as I am always experimenting with new products!

I am not sponsored at all in this post so all the items are things I have genuinely tried and tested and fallen in love with. However, all the links to the products provided are  Amazon affiliate links, meaning that if you buy an item using my link then Amazon helps to support my blog so I can keep writing! So if you like any of the products and fancy supporting the blog, please use the links I provide (the pictures are the links) as I would really appreciate it!

Favourite Shampoo: Fanola No Yellow Shampoo £8.64

I have recently dyed my hair blonde and so was trying to find the best purple shampoo to keep brassiness out of my hair. After hours of research and trying sooo many products, I have to say this is an absolute game changer! It is cheap, lasts you for ages, and is so potent! You only need a tiny amount to cover your whole head, leave in for 5 mins, and your hair is fantastically bright and ashy with no drying!

Conditioner: Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moisture Deep Treatment Conditioner, £7.76

Wow, that was a mouthful! Any of the conditioners from Aussie work amazingly well at keeping hair strong and shiny, but this is just my personal favourite. It also keeps my hair smelling good all day!

Hair Mask: Bleach London Reincarnation Mask, £6.00

Oh my god. Guys, this is genuinely the best hair mask I have ever used- and trust me when I say I have tried to many of them. I have always been a fan of Bleach London products as they are cheap, good quality, and smell of parma violets! Leave this mask in for 15 mins while you have a bath or whatever, and then wash it out and it will leave your hair soooo soft and shiny and gorgeous. I literally can’t stop raving about this mask and have recommended it to all of my friends.

Leave-in Conditioner: Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Leave-In Conditioner, £4.99

Although my shampoo, conditioner and hair masks are fantastic at doing their jobs, you can never be too safe! This leave-in conditioner is so cheap and smells so yummy, as well as giving my hair a glossy shine! What more could you want?

Body Moisturiser: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Cream, £9.07

The second time Palmer has made the list! And for good reason. This is a classic go-to moisturiser. It is so rich and creamy and leaves you with a lovely healthy glow. I genuinely never get dry skin on my body and it is 100% because of this fabulous cream!

Face Moisturiser: Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturiser, £6.65

I have the oiliest, most acne-prone skin ever. Yet, even when you have acne, you still gotta moisturise! I have used this particular moisturiser for probably around 5 years as it is the only one that does not break me out, yet does actually do the job of moisturising! Absolute must-have for my oily ladies out there!

Cleanser: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, £5.00

If you saw my update post on my skin you will see this product featured. Again, due to years of acne I have tried countless products to help get rid of it. I have to say that this is the very best one that actually works and does not dry me out!

Face Mask: Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Creme Cleanser Moisturising Mask, £23.50

Now I know this one is a little expensive, but if you can fork out then absolutely do! I use this mask every other night and it has been the biggest help in improving my skin. My skin is so soft, less textured with horrible little spots, and is starting to heal the acne scars I have. Genuinely such a fantastic product for my acne-sufferers out there!

Primer: Mac Prep + Prime Refined Zone, £23.34

How many times can I point out in one post that I have oily skin lmao? I have to fork out a little bit for my primer as due to my skin I find that drugstore primers either do not work at all or completely clog my pores up and cause breakouts! However, this product does last you a good few months so it is worth it in the end! Goes on clear and super smooth, and dries really quickly. Helps make my makeup last around 5 more hours than if I didn’t have any primer on!

Foundation: Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15, £42.42

Okay this seems expensive but it is cheaper than buying it in store! I was never a Bobbi Brown girl until I received a gift voucher for their store. I am soooo glad I tried this! So silky, not too cakey and lasts for so long even on my oily-ass skin!

Concealer: Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer, £4.85

Now, ya girl is more than happy to wear just concealer with no foundation most days, and I am also more than happy to use a cheapy concealer if it does the job. And honestly this Maybelline concealer does just that! It has a really wide shade range and is pretty long lasting. And for less than a fiver, who can say no?

Setting Powder: Maybelline Master Fixer Powder, £7.28

I used to use a pressed powder like most people to set my makeup, and then only bake with loose powder when I had a special occasion etc. yet day to day my skin would still come up shiny and it was so annoying! However, I learnt from a Tana Mongeau of all people that if you just apply loose powder to your face like a pressed powder and just kept blending it in, it could look natural and keeps your makeup in tact for longer. I have not gone back. My skin has never looked so smooth and soft and airbrushed! Now, it suits me as I am rather pale, but I do not know how well setting powder blends in on darker shades, so I would love to hear your advice or feedback below!

Foundation Brush: Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Make-Up Sponge with Travel Case, £6.99

Don’t even try to pretend that a foundation brush comes close to a damp make-up sponge. I converted a few years ago and never looked back. My makeup has never looked so airbrushed, smooth and silky. I will fight anyone who tries to come near me with an actual foundation brush. I recommend buying the sponge with the case as it is better to keep in your make-up bag as it is more sanitary, but that’s just my opinion!

Contour: Kiko Milano Sculpting Touch Creamy Contour Stick, £9.90

I never really agreed with contour powder as I found sticks more precise and easier to blend in (using a make-up sponge!) Your contour stick does not have to be the most expensive as honestly pretty much all of them stay on pretty well. I like this one in particular as it has a bit of a warmth to it and blends out so nicely.

Eyeshadow Palette: Lime Crime Venus XL Palette, £60.10

Choosing my favourite eyeshadow palette was probably the hardest thing on the list as I love all of mine! But I have to say that this one has the best pigmentation, blends out easily, and has the most beautiful pinky shades! I got this palette when it was on sale for about £38 which was a steal, and genuinely worth every penny!

Mascara: Benefit Roller Lash, £22.99

Benefit is a brand that always brings out the best products, and absolutely dominate the eyelash and eyebrow market. Roller Lash is a favourite not just with me but amongst so many of my friends. It has a smooth formula that does not get lumpy, and makes your lashes look so lovely and long! The bottle lasts you a good few months.

Eyebrow Gel:Benefit Gimmie Brow + Volumising Fiber Gel, £17.99

This is probably one of my most used items on this entire list. I have been using this and exclusively this product for around 3 years on my brows and I always get such great compliments. It colours your eyebrows, keeps them perfectly in place all day, and the little bottle will last you for ages! 100% recommend!

Eyeliner: L’Oreal Paris Superliner Perfect Slim Eyeliner, £4.85

I have always been a fan of those kind of felt tip pen eyeliners. I think they are the easiest to use and I have never had a problem with any drugstore eyeliner! I always use black (despite having green eyes and always being recommended to wear brown) because I love the classic yet dramatic look. This one goes on easily, is easy to fix any mistakes with a damp cotton bud, and stays on all day!

Highlighter: Mac Mineralise Skin Finish Highlighter, £30.56

This is the most shimmery beautiful highlighter that is super pigmented and lasts all day. It blinds anyone that looks at it. Enough said.

Lip Balm: Vaseline Lip Therapy Aloe Vera, £1.65

A classic. I have actually managed to completely finish a few vaseline tubs in my life, that is a sign of commitment. I am massively into having smooth silky lips and although there are plenty of fancy expensive ones on the market, you really can’t beat vaseline.

Lipstick: Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturising Lip Colour Balm, £14.99

I love a chubby stick. They are easy to apply, super moisturising and Clinique’s ones have such lovely colours. They do not get on your teeth or transfer easily to other surfaces, so I would absolutely recommend for those who are a bit like me and cannot be bothered with lip liner etc.

Right, I suppose that is it for now! Just wanted to share my favourite of each major beauty item. Let me know down below what you think of my list, and what are your favourite products? I’d love to hear as I am always experimenting and trying new products!

Love from Evie x

‘James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes’ – Book of the Week

I am going to be a little biased in this review as I absolutely adore James Acaster and his comedy. I just feel he is so clever and so weird, and we all know I love a weirdo! I first truly appreciated his work when he released four of his stand ups on Netflix titled ‘James Acaster: Repertoire’ and I honestly found them all so hilarious. Other friends/members of my family did not exactly “get” it, however the ones who did also instantly fell in love with him. I started listening to his podcast ‘Off Menu’ which is absolutely worth a try too.

I actually downloaded the audiobook of ‘Classic Scraps’ as I was going to be travelling in the car a lot over the Christmas holidays and did not want to get car sick. What is handy about this book is that it is a collection of short, funny stories from Acaster’s life. You can put the book down if you need to and come back to it- it isn’t a big commitment. Although the stories all stand alone, they do still refer back to one another and so the narrative does not feel too disjointed.

What is so funny and works about this book is that Acaster looks back on some of these stories with hindsight and does address the questions that the reader may be having, and so explains his backwards logic. I like that the ‘scrapes’ he gets himself into are not unbelievable or random, and there is some method to the madness, even if Acaster’s approach to the situation is not the same as regular people’s. This is the type of comedy I like as these situations don’t just occur “just because”, however there are a series of bad (and understandable) mistakes that snowball. Acaster has a rather literal interpretation of everything in life that always seem to result in him in some kind of mess.

I truly do recommend this to anyone who fancies a little pick-me-up on their commute as I know January can be a particularly drab time of year. Below I will provide the link to purchase the paperback on Amazon! Usually it is £9.99, however on Amazon it is only £6.92 which is an absolute steal:


‘James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes’, £6.92

 
I actually listened to this novel as an audiobook just because I was travelling a lot and it was easier for me to listen to it. I think this definitely added to the experience as his voice is so funny, and also there are a few songs in his book so you can actually hear how they go! So Amazon offers Kindle Unlimited (which is like Netflix but for books, audiobooks, magazines etc.) and has unlimited free stuff on it that you can download, I believe there are over 1,000,000 books on there so it is so worth it. Amazon offer a 30-Day Free Trial (I will link below) and then it’s only £7.99 a month after that. However, you can cancel at any time which is so handy, so if you did not enjoy your free trial you can just cancel. I honestly do recommend Kindle Unlimited if you a big reader/audiobook listener as in the long run it does end up being cheaper (especially for an English student like me who has to read like 2 books a week):

https://www.amazon.co.uk/kindle-dbs/hz/signup?tag=evelynrichard-21

Anyways let me know your thoughts on this book in the comments below! And do you have any books you want me to review or that you recommend for me? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Love from Evie x

Bleach London White Toner review

Bit of a different kind of blog for you today, but I have been looking to expand my content and hair and beauty is a big one for me. I have recently started a journey to go from medium brown hair to light blonde. I approached this by going to the hairdressers a few times and gradually getting more and more highlights put in as it is the best and healthiest way to go blonde. However, I am only a student and so when I decided to touch up my roots and tone it to a lighter, ashier colour I took matters into my own hands for the sake of my bank account. After hours and hours of research, the best looking toner for me seemed like the Bleach London White Toner. I have used Bleach London before to temporarily dye my hair pastel pink so I was familiar with the brand and knew it was good quality. What I like about Bleach London is that most of their products are totally vegan and the packaging is made out of recycled materials. Bleach London is also very cheap and readily available on Amazon for only £7.99! Click on the image below to be taken to the Amazon site and purchase the product:

Bleach London White Toner, £7.99 at Amazon

Inside the kit you receive developing lotion, the white colourant, instructions, a sample of the Bleach London reincarnation mask (which I already owned and very much recommend), and gloves. No brush, you are supposed to basically apply it with your fingers. However fortunately I already had a brush from something else. Here is my hair before, as you can see it is rather golden. I would not necessarily call it brassy, but certainly warmer and not as light as I wanted:

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You must apply to shampooed, towel dried hair for best results. The instructions basically say to apply evenly all over hair and leave for no longer than 20 minutes, then use the Reincarnation mask supplied to help wash it out and heal the hair. Here are the after results:

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My phone camera made my hair look darker than it is! However, hopefully you can see that it did take away some of the golden, warmer tones and replaced with lovely cooler tones. Some parts of my hair are almost white which is perfect! My hair does not feel damaged at all and is in fact super shiney and soft. One thing I will say is that I will probably have to use the toner again in a few days as where I had bleached my roots there is still a little brassiness:

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It is not overly noticeable, however I am my largest critic and so it will bother me until I fix it! I will do an update post when I have applied the second layer of toner in a few days to let you know how I am coming along.

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Any tips for going blonder? Please let me know below!

Lots of love, Evie x

 

The Mysterious Death of Elisa Lam -Unsolved Mystery

Note that the following content may not be suitable for all readers. Also, I mean no disrespect to the victim or her family.

I see this blog as a physical manifestation of my mind, and so I have to be honest and say that although my mind is full of baking recipes and Jane Austen, there is also a part of it that has a morbid curiosity to unsolved mysteries. I have decided to share with you one of the first mysteries I ever learned about, and if this post does well then I will make it into a bit of a series and regularly post cases! I chose this case as it is not too scary or creepy, however let me know down below if you would rather some cases like that. This is the story of the mysterious death of Elisa Lam.

On the 19th February 2013, the Cecil Hotel staff received a number of complaints that the water from their sinks or showers was not flowing, or when it did it was dark and tasted bad. The maintenance workers went up to the water tank on the roof to identify the cause of the problem, when they found the body of 21-year-old Elisa Lam. Elisa was a Canadian student on a trip to Los Angeles by herself. She had actually been reported missing at the start of the month, but no one suspected that she would endear the fate that she did.

There are many suspicious elements to the Elisa Lam case which suggest that this was not a cut-and-dry suicide, and why it is still under investigation 6 years on. The first reason is because no one can work out how Elisa got into the water tank in the first place. To get up to the roof where the tanks are would mean accessing fire doors which could only be opened using a staff key, but no staff keys were found around Elisa or anywhere on the roof, and none were reported missing. Elisa could not have opened the door herself without an alarm being sounded. Additionally, the tank itself is 2.4m high, and has an extremely heavy lid. The maintenance workers had to use ladders to get up to the tank and more than one of them had to help open the tank- there is no way a small 21-year-old woman is going to be able to do that herself. Her clothes were found outside the tank, along with her watch and room keys. Elisa’s phone that she used regularly was never found. There were no signs of drugs, a lot of alcohol or any sexual contact with Elisa.

The reason why this case blew up and became so widely talked about is because the police released a rather bizarre security video, which is the last known footage of Elisa. In the video, which I will link to below, Elisa appears to be hiding and then talking to an unseen person outside of a lift. It is widely agreed that Elisa was not acting “normally”, as she looks distressed and is walking in and out the lift and pressing all the buttons. People blame her Bipolar Disorder on this behaviour, yet psychologists claim that these actions would not be caused by that disorder, and her family agreed that she did not ever act like that in the past. As I have stated before, no drugs and very little alcohol was found in her system, so these would not have been the cause for the behaviour either.

The actual cause of Elisa Lam’s death is drowning, but the autopsy report has marked the reason (ie suicide, homicide, natural, etc) as ‘Undetermined’. Was Elisa murdered? Was she suffering from a mental disorder that caused her to go into the tank? How did she even get into the tank with no assistance? I would love to hear what you guys think below, and if you would like for me to continue sharing some unsolved mysteries with you.

From Evie

How Not To Revise for an Exam

If there is one thing in life I hate more than bratty middle-class children and Snapchat streaks, it’s exams. Before I get into this blog post I have to warn you that if you are reading this the night before your exam in the hopes of getting some nuggets of gold to help you in the big test tomorrow then this post isn’t for you. This post is a warning to people like me of what not to do when preparing for an exam, most of which was learnt through real-life personal experience.

  1. Do not cram in all of your revision in the last minute. If this sounds obvious to you then I can hazard a guess you have never struggled with procrastination. I believe procrastination is a real thing that does truly need to be looked into. I believe it is not a sign of someone being lazy, rather a bizarre manifestation of anxiety and fear. “If I don’t revise yet, then there is no exam” it feels like. The issue is, I procrastinate with productive things, to trick myself into thinking I am not wasting time. I will apply for jobs, write a blog post or two, perhaps go to the gym. All I am saying from past experience is recognise this behaviour and pleaaase start revising weeks before your exam. Even 30 minutes a day for a few weeks leading up to the exam will help! Do not pull an all nighter right before the exam!
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Photo by Lina Kivaka on Pexels.com

2. Don’t just skip over things you don’t understand and hope they will not be in the exam. Yes, if I am honest with myself I am very guilty of this. If I don’t understand something I more or less shrug and move on to something I feel more comfortable with. But the time leading up to the exam is the time to email your tutors, do research or even ask a classmate!

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Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

3. Do not have the first time you write a whole exam paper be when you actually do the exam. … I can see I lost some of you there, but this is a legit thing. Myself and other people I know do not even so much as glance at a practise paper let alone write them out and check the answers. Genuinely, doing this makes such a massive difference as you can see where your weaknesses are. You can also work on time management better! Also, as an English student who had to write 3 essays in 3 hours in her exam the other day, it helps to practise writing with a pen for prolonged periods of time. It’s like training for a marathon- you can’t just jump right in, you gotta train.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

4. Do not make revision a chore and punish yourself. I know it is counter-intuitive but getting into a new TV show or Youtube channel actually massively helps me to revise. So what I do is reward myself with an episode every time I do an hour of work, or when I finish a chapter, or when I finish a practise paper. 20 minute shows like the IT Crowd or Friends works better than those shows with an hour long episode as you get a break and reward but you still get plenty of time to study. This may not work for everyone as you have to have some self control and I know how tempting it is to watch another episode, especially when Netflix plays it automatically after 10 seconds.

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Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

5. Don’t worry too much because it is not like these exam marks will be with you all of your life for people to judge you on and will define what kind of future you will be able to provide for your unborn children… Hmm, actually don’t listen to me. It’ll be fine in the end. Probably.

 

Good luck and let me know down below what exam tips and experiences you’ve had!

Lots of love, Evie x

On being a Literature Student with Dyslexia

One of my teachers sheepishly approached me in class and asked if I would stay behind for a few minutes after. I, of course, suddenly started imagining the worst possible reasons why. Was I failing the class? Was I going to be kicked out of Sixth Form? Did my entire family perish in a terrible fire while I was at school but she wanted me to focus on completing the textbook tasks before I was told their fate? The bell rang. “Remember to finish the work on page 22 for next class- I will be checking!” my teacher called to her class, who were hurriedly rushing to their lunch. My teacher then looked at me, “Gosh, you don’t have to look so nervous. Basically, a few of your teachers have suspected that you may be Dyslexic, and so we are calling in an Educational Psychologist to screen you next week. Do you mind if I keep a hold of your writing book for evidence?”

I can’t remember the Educational Psychologist’s name but she was nice and spoke very slowly. She told me not to worry and that we just have a few simple exercises to do. I had 20 minutes to write about what ever I wanted, just as long as I kept writing. I believe they wanted to test my sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and speed of writing. I then was given a series of letters and was asked to read them aloud as quickly as I could, followed by a series of words, followed by a series of numbers. I then had to go onto a computer and each screen had around 15 alternate spellings for the same word, I then had to quickly click the correct spelling before the screen moved on and showed me 15 more alternate spellings for another word. I was given some example sentences and asked to identify what was wrong with them, or if there was anything wrong at all. This all felt a little silly, considering I was 17, however the results came back that I was in fact Dyslexic and that I would receive 25% extra time in my exams.

There is a whole spectrum of Dyslexia and fortunately mine is rather mild, which is why it took me 17 years before I learnt I had a problem. I was told that my form of Dyslexia was less to do with spelling and grammar, as is most common, rather to do with information processing. They said, for example, most people would be asked a question and instinctively answer it “A-B-C”, whereas I would answer it more like “A-M-X-J-E”. I would show strong knowledge, but it was not immediately as obvious to me as other people what I am being asked to answer. I was told that people with Dyslexia, especially my kind, tended to be creative and think outside of the box more. However, they can struggle with higher education as mark schemes are rigid and favour conventional answers over creative ones. This is why I was awarded extra time, as it meant I could think more about what the question is asking of me, and how they were asking me to answer.

I was rather nervous starting an English Literature degree giving that I knew I had a learning difficulty typically related to Literature as a subject, and I was not even fully aware of how my Dyslexia impacted me. It is simple enough being told “you have something that makes your thought pattern different to normal people”, but what did this mean? I could not identify it in myself, I could not see when I was thinking differently to others, if that makes sense. I genuinely believe when I am writing an essay that this is what they want me to write about. It can be very difficult.

I notice it in class when we are asked to share our ideas about a text and my answer varies a great deal from other people’s. I notice it in personal life when my friends joke I always misunderstand things. I noticed it in work when it took me a little longer than everyone else to learn the complicated order on how to do tasks, when another method seemed to make more sense to me. The older I get, the more I notice that I approach things differently to other people. Some things that are instinctual to others I have to learn, because I am unlearning the way that is instinctual to me.

On the plus side, I do tend to get marked highly for creativity and thinking outside the box in my coursework. I have been awarded extra days on all of my deadlines to complete my work which gives me more time to really develop my ideas. I do feel anxious as I have an important exam next week, and I know the mark schemes are more rigid than with coursework, and so I will try hard to truly use my extra time wisely and think about how a normal person would answer this.

People find it ironic that I am an English Literature student and I run a blog even though I have a learning difficulty which says I should do otherwise. Some days I agree and question why I make life hard for myself. However, most days, I just give them a smile and explain that in a way Dyslexia is a gift. I cherish creativity and I wouldn’t  have it any other way.

Let me know in the comments below if you have Dyslexia or any other learning difficulty. I would love to find out your tips for coping as I am always willing to learn. Also let me know if you would like me to do a little guide of things I do to help my Dyslexia!

Love from Evie x

Say It Aint So, I Walnut Go – Coffee and Walnut Cake recipe

Coffee and walnut cake is a favourite amongst our family. My brother likes neither walnuts nor coffee, yet I have spotted even him go for a helping or two of this cake! I went a little over the top with decorating this cake so of course make less buttercream and totally leave out the ganache if you want to keep this cake more traditional!

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 250g softened butter
  • 5 tbsp strong black coffee (cooled)
  • 280g self-raising flour
  • 250g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a handful of walnuts (finely chopped)

For the buttercream:

  • 250g butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp black coffee (cooled)

For the ganache:

  • 200g chocolate (I used milk)
  • 200ml double cream

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C and grease up two round cake tins. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until it forms a light paste.

 

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2. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring inbetween. Then, sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in. Combine in the coffee and vanilla essence. Pour equally into the two round tins and pop into the oven for 35-40 mins until fully cooked.

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3. While the cake is cooking you may want to make your buttercream. Simply use an electric whisk on a high setting on your butter until it turns light and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar bit by bit to ensure it doesn’t make a massive mess! Lastly, add in your coffee and mix it all in. Make sure you don’t add your buttercream until the cakes have completely cooled or they will melt! Pop your cakes in the fridge for 15-20 mins to help them cool down!

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4. To make the ganache all you need to do is combine the chocolate and the cream into a microwave-friendly bowl. Pop into the microwave for 1 min, then stir. Add for another 30 seconds and stir again. Hey presto! Perfect chocolate ganache.

5. All that is left is to ice the cake and drizzle it in ganache! Serve and enjoy!

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I hope you enjoyed this recipe! I will make a separate post with more details and pictures on how to make ganache if you would like, just let me know in the comments below!

Love from Evie x

Tikka Chance on Me – easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

There are hundreds and hundreds of ways of making a classic Chicken Tikka Masala, but this is the recipe I have always come back to as it is easy to make and full of flavour. Slow cookers/crock pots are great for meals like curry as it allows it to cook in its juices all day so when you come to eat it the flavours are just so strong! Nothing is worse than a bland curry. Like always, feel absolutely free to play around with the measurements of this recipe as even I don’t make it exactly the same every time- depends what mood I am in! However, use this recipe as a basic guideline to making a deliciously warming curry. This was enough curry to feed my family of 5 and even had enough for seconds!

Ingredients

5 chicken breasts

1 tin chickpeas

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tin coconut milk

250ml chicken stock

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 thumb-sized ginger, chopped

1 onion, diced

1tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3 tsp chilli powder (adjust to taste)

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp curry powder

1tsp paprika

1tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp tomato puree

2 tsp sugar

Rice (I recommend 1/2 cup per person)

A handful of chopped fresh coriander

Method

  1. In a pan, brown the onion and sear the chicken. This will help to lock in the moisture!

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2. Add all your spices and coriander, coat the chicken and cook it until the spices release their smell

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3. Add your chopped tomatoes, coconut milk and chicken stock. Bring to the boil an let simmer for a few minutes before adding to your slow cooker. Add your chickpeas (drain them first)

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4. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4. I recommend low if you have the time as it aids to release all those fantastic flavours. Serve with rice and enjoy!

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That is literally all there is to it! So simple and easy- not to mention delicious and warming! Of course, adjust the recipe to suit your own taste, but this base recipe will guarantee good results. Let me know in the comments below how you found this recipe, and do you have any curry tips? Are there any recipes you would like me to share?

 

Love from Evie x

This Sh*t is Banana Cake, B-A-N-A-N-A-Cake!

Sorry, couldn’t resist the song! So catchy and is the only thing that has helped me learn how to spell bananas.

Banana Loaf is a bit of a cross between Banana Bread and drizzle cake. It is traditionally baked in a bread loaf tin, however the actual mixture is sweet and cakey. It is stodgy and moist which is perfect for the winter! It may not be the prettiest cake or get you many Instagram likes, but it is so delicious, easy to make, and goes perfectly with custard.

Ingredients

  • 140g room temperature butter

 

  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g icing sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Cream together the butter and sugar using an electric whisk.IMG_7068.jpg
  2. Add the two eggs, baking powder, mashed bananas and sift in the flour. Fold everything together until smooth.

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3. Pour the mix into the loaf tin and cook for 45 mins or until a skewer comes out clean when poked inside. Mix together the 50g of icing sugar with 2-3tsp water and drizzle on top. Then serve!

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What did I say? So simple to make! I know it isn’t the prettiest cake in the world but it’s so soft and moist and a favourite amongst the family! Let me know what you think in the comments below and let me know if there are any recipes you would like me to share!

Love from Evie x