Hometown Sunrises

Saturday, 31 December 2016

I love my hometown, especially it's sunrises. About this time last year I woke up early and went down to my local beach and took some pictures for a film recce, and it was the most magical experience! This is something I really should do at least a few mornings a week, as it gets me out of bed early, get some exercise in for the day, and it's very relaxing and beautiful to watch the sun rise every morning.



As the year is drawing to a close, I like to take times like these to think and reflect upon what I have achieved and what I want to do in the upcoming year. I found that the walk was very mind clearing and helped me make sense of what I wanted to do in 2017; what projects I want to start, what skills I want to hone and hobbies I want take up.







I hope you all have a fantastic New Year and I hope you find some awesome New Years resolutions for yourself! Let me know what they are in the comments below!

See you next year!

Love, K :)

Small Steps To Saving The World With WWF

Sunday, 18 December 2016

About a few months ago, I finally decided to become a member of the WWF (World Wildlife Fund). From a young age I have always wanted to donate to this amazing charity and now that I earn my own money, I can, and I have!


I have always loved wildlife and nature and have always tried my best to take care of it. I remember when I was in Primary School, I got so frustrated that there was so much litter everywhere around my school that I volunteered my whole lunch-time each day to litter picking, I even managed to persuade some of my friends to join in too. We spent our lunch-times picking up litter and chatting away. Some children thought it was weird, but that didn't stop my 9 year old self!

In recent years I have embarked on a wildlife conservation trip to India, pledged to help bring into action Goal 14 & 15 of the Global Goals and currently work for a business that has created 100m2 of native woodland through the Woodland Trust to reduce our carbon footprint.


As previously stated, I love nature and the environment and I care for it with every fiber of my soul. I recently watched Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary 'Before The Flood', which finally prompted me to donate to a charity that helps the conservation and protection of this earth and the amazing animals on it. You can watch 'Before The Flood' for free on Youtube here. I really urge you to watch this as it was such an eye opening documentary and was also very interesting to see how much time and care Leonardo DiCaprio puts into awareness about climate change and other environmental causes.

As regards to the WWF, I have chosen to become a WWF member, donating a set amount each month to help conservation and animal protection. I have also chosen to adopt an Amur Leopard, an Asian Elephant and a Hawksbill Turtle, again, donating a set amount for each animal every month.


I'm so looking forward to receiving updates from the WWF about all of the work that they are doing. I really urge you to support a charity like this one! You can choose to pay a specific amount each month or there is even an option for a one off payment! You can go to the WWF's homepage here to see all about the amazing work that they do, and if you want to adopt and animal (or three, like me) you can visit this page!


Here's to hoping that we can continue to care for this planet and all of he magnificent animals on it!

Love, K :)

Christmas Tree Brownie Bites

Monday, 5 December 2016

I love baking, especially when it's chocolate-y goodies! Brownies are one of my favourite things to bake (and eat) so as it's Vlogmas (and nearly Christmas) I thought I would make some Christmas themed brownies for you all to enjoy! Here is what we'll be making!


They look scrummy, am I right?! These Christmas Tree Brownie Bites are perfect for a Christmas party, or just as a little festive treat for family, friends and of course, yourself! I had so much fun making them! Here is what you will need:

INGREDIENTS 

  • 400g caster sugar (I used normal granulated sugar for mine, so don't worry if you don't have caster!)
  • 225g butter, melted
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

If you would like to decorate your brownie bites, here is some inspiration! This is what I used to decorate my brownies:

  • Icing Sugar
  • Green food colouring
  • Red sugar sprinkles
  • Gold sugar circles
  • Small white chocolate stars

It's completely up to you as to how you decorate your brownies! I've seen some versions where people have added 'trunks' in the forms of candy canes and even pretzels! 


METHOD

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C / Gas mark 4 
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, making sure you get rid of any lumps and bumps in the mixture.
  3. Once your mixture is done and is lump and bump free, place into your designated tin/tray (I used a square tray and lined it with grease-proof baking paper). If you are not using baking parchment/paper, make sure you grease your tin/tray with butter first!
  4. Place your tin/tray into the oven and wait patiently for 25-30 minutes. I know it's hard but it has to be done if you want scrummy brownies. Perhaps you can dance to some Christmas tunes whilst you wait!
  5. Once your brownies are cooked, place them on the side and wait about 5 minutes for them to cool down.
  6. Cut your brownies into small triangles. Mine were quite small; the base being about 1in - 1.5in long.
  7. DECORATE! I used green icing, sprinkles, chocolate stars and gold sugar disks to decorate my brownie bites! If you are going to use icing make sure that the brownies are completely cooled down, otherwise your icing will melt off!
  8. Once you've decorated your delicious brownies, it's time for them to be eaten! Enjoy :)


If you have had a go at making these brownie bites, let me know and leave a picture and a comment in the comments below! I would love to see what you guys have made.

I hope you have enjoyed this festive recipe!

Love, K :)

Vlogmas 2016!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Christmas is fast approaching, which also means that Vlogmas will be here soon as well! I took part in Vlogmas last year, but I have to be honest, I didn't do a good job at it... I only filmed until the 16th of December, and even then I missed a few days here and there! But not to fear, this year I have many spectacular things planned and a HELLA lot of baking!


For those of you who do not know what Vlogmas is; everyday, starting from the 1st of December, Vloggers, Youtubers and Bloggers alike, all vlog (film) their day, every day until the 24th of December. It's such a fun way to show everyone what you're up to over the festive season, and for me it's a good excuse for baking lots of yummy food!

As mentioned before, last year I only filmed until day 16 (the 16th of December), but I'm looking a lot more hopeful this year as I have quite a lot planned! I have found it so much fun to plan what I'm doing each day in the days of December, it makes Christmas time so much more fun and exciting!



If you're doing Vlogmas this year, comment in the comments below so I can watch your days! I'd love to see and her about what you're doing!

See you all on the 1st of December!

Merry Vlogmas!

Love,  K :)


Iceland Day Seven | Godafoss & Back To Reykjavik

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Day Seven of my Iceland adventure, again, mostly consisted of travelling, but rest assured we went to some AMAZING places! And yes, that includes another waterfall! I think, even though we have visited LOADS of waterfalls on our travels round Iceland, it amazes me how different they are, and how they amaze me every time. Most people would think 'oh, it's just another waterfall' but every time we went to see a different waterfall, it still managed to take my breath away!


We spent our morning in Akureyri's botanical gardens, which is the most Northern botanical garden in the world! It was a cool, crisp morning and it was so lovely spending time is such a beautiful place. The colours of the trees were spectacular, and my favourite plant/flower was their decorative cabbages that they have sprawled across the gardens!






 The next few pictures are of Godafoss, or 'The Waterfall of the Gods'. I read in one of my Icelandic fairy-tale books that the reason it's called this is because way, way back  in the year 999 or 1000, a man named Thorgeir Ljosvetningagodi Thorkelsson voted in favour of Christianity being the main religion in Iceland, over-ruling Norse Paganism. When Christianity was declared the nation new religion, Thorgeir threw his Norse idols over Godafoss waterfall, hence it being called the 'Waterfall of the Gods'.









It was very spectacular, and I loved reading and learning about it from my fairy-tale, myth and folklore books that I bought!


The rest of the dy consisted of travelling to small places and also visiting some FILMING SITES OF GAME OF THRONES! No big deal... We visited the famous cavern involving Jon Snow and Ygritte ;) 



You can really tell why Iceland is such a popular place to film! It's landscape feels so other-worldly. I could have seen them making Lord of the Rings here! In a way, it's very much like New Zealand, but just on the other side of the hemisphere!



Lastly, we visited some mud pots just off Lake Myvatn, one of the largest lakes in Iceland. It looks like some guy named Mike knows whats up...




The mud pots, much like the Geysirs, can reach up to temperatures of 100C, so it is very wise to stay at a safe distance. And again, also like the geysirs, the mud-pots spewed Sulfuric fumes, so there was a very eggy smell in the air...










This is going to be the last post of my adventures in Iceland! Even though we spent two more days in Iceland (nine days altogether) the next day (the 8th) was my birthday, and I completely forgot to take any pictures at all! And we were travelling home on the 9th day, so there wasn't many photo oppotunities, but we did go to the Blue Lagoon! WHICH WAS AMAZING!

I hope you have enjoyed these posts, and I'm looking forward to my next trip to Iceland (whenever that may be!)

If you want to see my vlogs of my time in Iceland, head over to my second Youtube channel here :)

Love, K :)

Sparkler Season

Friday, 4 November 2016

Bonfire night is upon us; how quickly has this year gone! October felt like it lasted only 5 minutes! In the UK, Bonfire Night (or Guy Fawkes Night) is a night filled with fireworks, sparklers and bonfires, and is always observed on the 5th of November; 'Remember, remember the 5th of November'.



Bonfire night is one of my favourite times of the year. There are always local firework displays to go to, and they often have live music, food and drink and bonfires. It's such a cozy time of year! I love wrapping up warm in my coat and scarf and pulling on my hat and gloves. I don't think there is anything better than watching the beautiful fireworks go off and to smell the sweet burning of the logs on the fires. And of course all of this should be enjoyed with a hot drink to keep you warm and a candy apple for your tummy.



This year, myself and my sister decided to try and take some pictures with sparklers using the long exposure settings on my camera. I was inspired by my boss (I hate calling her my boss, because she is actually a very good friend of mine!) who is a wedding photographer. I saw one of her photographs from a wedding she shot earlier in the year where she used sparklers to encircle the married couple, and the result was amazing! That's what I tried to recreate in these pictures.



Me and my sister had so much fun making these photo's, and it was really interesting to try different settings and techniques to see how the picture turned out.



I have a Canon 750D and the settings I used were all on the manual mode on the camera. The settings I used were:

Exposure: 6.0 sec at f/5.6
Focal Length: 18mm
ISO: 400



It was good to experiment with the settings and I might try to try spelling words with sparklers soon, as I think that looks really cool! When taking the pictures, you have to make sure that your subject is very still, otherwise they will look blurry (like some of my pictures!). The way we took the pictures is; we got whoever was in the picture to stand very still and made sure that they were in focus. As it was really dark, it was hard to see if they were in focus or not, so to resolve this I got my sister to shine a light on her face so I could zoom in on her face and focus that way, then she took away the light and I lit the sparkler and pressed the shutter button and frantically ran around her, or waved my arm in loops around her.





I am really pleased with how these pictures turned out and I hope to take more like it! I hope this has inspired you all to do something creative and fun this Bonfire Night! I hope your night is filled with sparkle, nice food and crackin' fireworks :)

Let me know if you've taken some awesome sparkler pictures in the comments below!

Love, K :)

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