Sunset Chasers

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Yesterday, myself and my friends Hannah, Fraiya and Vicky all had a little adventure! We all hopped into Vicky's car and quite literally drove off into the sunset and along the way took some amazing pictures! These pictures were so lovely that I thought I just had to share them with you all! Some of the pictures were taken by myself and some were taken by Hannah, but I cannot remember which ones! 








Daughter of Smoke & Bone | Book Review

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Rating: 4/5

'Errand requiring immediate attention. Come'

The Blurb Reads:

"In general, Karou has managed to keep to two lives in balance. On one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in Elsewhere, she had never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole.

Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought." 



I really enjoyed reading this book, and it didn't take me too long to really get into it either. This is a fantasy like no other that I have read and it's style reminds me of Guillermo Del Toro's 'Pans Labyrinth' in the fact that it has these two very different, yet very believable worlds to the characters. If this was ever turned into a film, Del Toro would definitely be interested!

I found Karou really difficult to relate to at first, but then grew to understand her and the things she does. The imagery is very vivid and beautiful, so those of you that have seen Pan's Labyrinth won't have to imagine much more.

Overall, you get to love the characters and the narrative is full of twists and definitely makes you turn the page!

It is the right mix of fantasy and real world and I really loved every page of it!

So, for those of you that love dark fantasy and a love story like no other, look no further!

Love, K :)



Fathers Day Cookies! | Biscuit Recipe

Friday, 26 June 2015

So last weekend was Fathers Day in the UK and I've decided to upload a recipe for the cookies/biscuits I made my Dad. Now, my Dad is simply pleased and loves these cookies, but some might find them a bit plain and you are welcome to make your own modifications to the recipe! 

This makes about 30 - 40 small cookies.

Here's what we will be making!


I found this recipe online and have used the instructions that follow:

BISCUITS 

INGREDIENTS 

  • 500g of Plain Flour
  • 250g of Butter or Margarine
  • 140g of Icing Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon of Milk

MAKE SURE YOU PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 160 DEGREES BEFORE HAND!

METHOD

Once you have measured all of your ingredients out, place the flour, butter/margarine and sugar into a bowl then start rubbing all the ingredients into each other so you get a breadcrumb-like texture.


Next, add your vanilla extract and milk to get a doughy like consistency. Add more milk or flour if needed as I found that my mixture was a bit runny and sticky! 


BEFORE PUTTING YOUR DOUGH ONTO A WORK SURFACE, DUST IT WITH FLOUR OTHERWISE IT WILL STICK! Once you have a good enough consistency, (and a dusting of flour) roll out your dough onto a clean work-surface. You can have your cookies as thick as you like, I did mine at about 1cm in thickness.


Then you can now cut out your cookies/biscuits in whatever shape you want! I used this flower-like shape.


Once you have cut out all of your cookies, place then on a tray that's lined with baking parchment, we don't want them sticking to the tray! I had some leftover dough, so I stuck little balls on the top of the cookies; they look more like flowers now!


After you have placed all of your cookies on a lined tray, place them in the over for about 15-20 min, but make sure you keep an eye on them as I found that they brown quite quickly! I waiting until my cookies had a nice browness about them before I took them out. After you have baked your cookies, leave them to cool own for about 10 minutes.


As a finishing touch, I added some icing to my little cookies to give them a nicer look, but they taste fine as hey are, plain but good :) You can add any toppings you like, you could even add fruit or sprinkles! Below is my end result!


I hope you guys have enjoyed this recipe and let me know if you have had a go at making them! 

Love, K :)

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane | Neil Gaiman - Book Review

Friday, 22 May 2015

Rating: ✹ ✹ ✹

'The Ocean At The End of The Lane' is a novel about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us,

The blurb reads:

"Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy"



For me, this book seemed to drag a little at the beginning, but once you get into it, it starts to pick up the pace. I originally thought that this was a book for children, but it does have some 'adulty' themes in it (not sex or anything, just a few things that maybe a younger audience wouldn't understand).

I did expect more twists and events to keep me reading, but there were little. But nevertheless, the way that this mad my imagination work was incredible. There is fantastical and magical like tone to this book, which is something at first I did not expect!

Overall, I found it quite enjoyable, but t isn't something I'm gong to rave about. Leave me a comment if you have read this book and let me know what you think!

Love, K :)

The Night Circus | Erin Morgenstern - Book Review

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Rating: ✹✹✹✹✹ - LOVED IT!

'The Night Circus' is about a mysterious circus that is only open when the sun sets. Entwined with it are the lives of many circus performers and patrons of the circus, all bound to it in every way.


The blurb reads:

"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not"



I had been wanting to read this book for ages, and now I have, AND I LOVED IT! This book spans from the years 1873 to 1903 and then in the present day, going back and forth in years, so it may be a little difficult to follow for some younger readers, but I found it easy to follow.

I would recommend this book to anyone 14+ as it does have a few sensitive scenes involved.

I wasn't quite sure what to think when I started reading this book, as I didn't read any reviews about it first hand, but I knew I wanted to read it, and I am so glad that I did! This book is the perfect mix of magic, fantasy, reality, love and loss, and can also be seen as a coming of age story.

The narrative mainly follows the characters Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair, although there are a few other characters whose story's we follow.

The book starts off in mystery and continues this throughout the book, keeping me always wanting to read more. Some of the mysteries you do not find out until the end of the book, but there is enough drama and illusion to fill up that longing for answers. 

The characters are really well written and I fell i love with all of then instantly. We also get to see the characters grow up; as this novel spans across 30 years, so I really feel as if we get to see their characters progress and develop. 

I would love to say more about this book but I don't want to spoil it for anyone who may read it! It is such a lovely and enchanting book and really captured my heart and made me feel for the characters involved, definitely one of my new favourites! There are many twists and turns and yes, magic is involved!

If any of you lovely people have read The Night Circus, leave a comment and let me know what you thought of it! 

Love, K :) 

Easy-Peasy Cupcakes

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Hi all! So as it was a lovely day outside today. my Nan and I decided to bake some really easy cupcakes to enjoy outside in the lovely weather! As stated in the title, the cupcakes are super easy to make and don't take that long! This recipe should make 12 cupcakes.

Here is what we will be making!


Now, this recipe is my Nans, but I'm sure there are others out there that are similar, and this recipie comes in two parts, the actual cakes themselves, and the butter-cream icing on the top. So, here is the first part...

CAKES

 INGREDIENTS

  • 8oz of Self-Raising Flour
  • 8oz of Sugar
  • 8oz of Butter
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of Milk

MAKE SURE YOU TURN YOUR OVEN ON TO 200 DEGREES BEFORE STARTING

METHOD


  •  Once you have measured all of your ingredients out, put all of them into a large mixing bowl. It doesn't really matter what order you put them in, just as long as you put them all in the bowl and don't spill any!

  • Next, you can either use a handheld whisk or an electrical one, as long as it does the job it doesn't matter! Whisk all of your ingredients together until you get a mixture that is smooth in texture.
  • Once you have the desired texture, spoon three teaspoons worth of mixture into cupcake cases in a cupcake tin. If you have leftover mixture, even out some of the cupcake cases. This should fill 12 cupcake cases.
  • Place the cupcake tray into your oven (which should be pre-heated to 200 degrees) and patiently watch the little babies rise! The cupcakes should be left in the over for about 20 minutes.
  • If after 20 minutes, the cupcakes don't look a golden brown, leave them in for a few minutes longer and they should be ready! After 20 min, take the golden cakes out of the oven and leave to cool for about 20-30 mins (as you don't want your icing to melt, if you are having icing!)
BUTTER-CREAM ICING

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g of Icing sugar
  • 100g of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of milk

METHOD

  • To make the butter-cream icing you need to put all of your ingredients into one bowl, or if you want to make two different colors of icing, separate the mixture into two bowls so you can add food coloring int them later. Gently whisk (again, you can use an electric whisk or a hand whisk, but preferably use a hand whisk for the first bit as the icing tends to go into a massive dust cloud!). Once the mixture is looking similar to the picture below, you can use an electronic whisk to make sure that there are no lumps or bumps in the mixture.
  • Like the picture below, you can add food coloring to one of your mixtures (if you choose to do so). In this once we have pink icing, in which we only added a few drops of red food coloring to.
  • Once you have your butter-cream icing ready, place it all into a piping bag and begin piping the mixture onto your cupcakes! Afterwards you can decorate them how you like! Me and my Nan have put some sprinkles and cherry's on ours!
Here are the cupcakes that we made! They look so yummy! I can't wit to try one later!



I hope you have enjoyed this blog post! And I also hope you enjoy the cupcakes after you have made them! 

Love, K :)


The Bees | Laline Paull - Book Review

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Hi guys! So as you all know, I LOVE BOOKS! So I thought that I should start writing some book reviews for you all of what I am currently reading/or have read. I have never written any book reviews before, so I'm sorry if they are not structured how they should be )if there even is a structure to follow for a book review?). So here is my first review! I hope you like it!


Rating:  ✹ ✹ ✹

'The Bees' by Laline Paull is about a young bee called Flora 717 trying to find her way in the life of the Hive and was published in 2014.

The blurb reads:

"Flora 717 is a survivor. Born into the lowest class of the totalitarian hive society she is prepared to sacrifice everything for the Queen, surviving internal massacres , religious purges and terrifying invasions by vicious wasps. With each act of bravery her status grows, revealing both the enemies within and the sinister secrets that rule the Hive. But when her instinct to serve is overwhelmed by a fierce and deeply forbidden maternal love, she breaks the most sacred law of all..."

The UK paperback cover (2014 edition)

I didn't know what to expect when reading this book. At first I thought it wasn't about bees at all (even though the title is called The Bees and on the blurb it states bees and wasps), but I thought it was all a metaphor and that the 'bees' were in-fact humans in this new kind of totalitarian society; but it turns out that they actually are bees. The book, I think, starts off quite slow; the first quarter of the book was really interesting as you get to know about the rules and everyday life of the Hive including what the class system is and the whole culture that this society of bees have created. The last few chapters of the book really gripped me and made me wanted to read more, although I think that this would have been better if something similar was dotted throughout the book rather than just at the end.

The events that follow take a dark turn, from deaths to sacrifices and horrific secrets being unraveled, so I wouldn't recommend this to anyone under the age of 14 as it does get quite dark and gruesome.

The character of Flora 717 is an interesting one. We are not sure how old she is (although we are assuming she is quite young for a Bee) and her family lineage is quite simple as all of the bees are 'sisters' within this novel, birthed from the Queen herself, so none of that 'one-parent-is-dead' scenario here.

Hopefully, without giving too much away, this book is about self discovery, the power of each voice and above all else, love. Many different types of love are shown within the book; love for religion, maternal love, sibling love and others.

I believe that this book has a really important message to send out, although I don't think that is what the book is focusing, but is rather lying there underneath the narrative.

Overall  I really enjoyed the book, even though the beginning was a bit slow, but nevertheless it was a really good read. This book would probably appeal to an older audience, but even though I am 18 I can say that I did enjoy it.

Love, K :)

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