Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Bake a cake in less than 2 MINUTES! | Ayesha

Hello again! This is the beauty of being on holiday for 2 weeks - I actually have time to do pleasurable things like blogging!

A few weekends ago, my friend Katie came over. She is a fellow food fan like myself, and we decided to give a microwaveable cake a whirl. This is just a cake that you would normally bake in the oven, but instead, you bake it in the microwave.

We decided on a chocolate and peanut butter cake from Yammies Noshery. See it for yourself to believe it. Saliva ensues.

Left bowl - beaten eggs. Right bowl - butter and peanut butter combined.
Cocoa powder, flour and sugar combined with the peanut butter and butter mixture.

Microwave - breath was held for fear of explosion...

The finished deliciousness.

I am aware that I used a bowl and not a mug to bake this; the mugs I have are just too small. 

Another thing to add is the recipe states to bake for up to 2 minutes. I did it for 2 minutes and the cake was slightly on the dry side. I would definitely only bake it for 1.5 minutes max as the cake will continue cooking while it's still hot, even when you have taken it out of the microwave. Despite being slightly dry, it was still moist and absolutely delicious! It fills a hole and it takes less than 10 minutes from prep time to baking to cooling. This yielded 3 generous slices, too. The best part is that all the ingredients are measured in SPOONS! I have yet to acquire some proper baking equipment so this was perfect for me, as I have spoons...

Have you baked anything in a microwave? 

The 10 minute morning | Ayesha

Let's be real - sometimes you don't have the best night's sleep in the world, and maybe you have an interview or something else where you need to look fresh-faced and presentable (I turned up to my wedding with only 3 hours of sleep the night before - a complete no-no!).

If you are somebody who:

A) Snoozes their alarm until they have practically no time left to get ready;
B) Commutes far away and has a limited time in the morning to spend getting ready;
C) Has small children;
D) Doesn't want to spend a lot of time doing their face;
(this list is not exhaustive)

Then this might be the thing for you!

First things first, try and do as much as you can the night before. This includes preparing something for breakfast e.g. porridge or even pouring cereal into a bowl with the spoon inside, so you can throw in some milk and wolf it down. I believe breakfast is a really important meal of the day; it controls your blood sugar level so that by mid morning you're not scrabbling for chocolate (although I appreciate this can still happen *ahem*).

Next, lay out the clothes you are going to wear so you don't need to think about them. I used to spend ages umming and ahhing over what to wear but if you do all of that umming and ahhing the night before, you've saved yourself a heap of time. 

Finally, lay out all your makeup products. This is my favourite part of getting ready!

I use Bourjois Happy Light primer as a base first. It is super light and contains reflective particles to achieve a glowy look which also makes you look more awake. It also helps to keep your makeup on for longer.

I then reach for my foundation (sometimes I skip this if I reallllyyy don't have time and just use concealer). I use Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua because it's also very light, has sheer-medium coverage and spread it on areas I need it most with my fingers. 

I use Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer under my eyes and around the nose. This particular concealer is my favourite as it also contains those reflective particles, is really liquidy so it blends very easily and does a great job at covering dark circles.

I blend this all together with a dusting of Bourjois Java Powder, which, you guess it, also contains these light reflecting particles! You're probably imagining that you may look like a Christmas tree complete with flashing lights after putting all this on, but trust me, you don't.

The remaining two products are totally optional, and can add them if you do have a bit more time. Topshop Glow Pot in Polished is a lovely luminous highlighter that looks really natural when you apply it.

The eyeshadow palette is by Stila called In the Light, and the shade which will enhance the overall glowiness of your face is the shade Kitten (top row, second shade from the left - the pale pink/champagne shade).

I only ever use fingers to apply my makeup unless I am applying blusher, powder or eyeshadow. I find that it blends into my skin more and takes up less of my time. This is just a personal preference though!

So set the timer on your phone for 5 minutes, throw it all on and let the products do the work for you!

Do you have any tips or product recommendations that save time and/or make you look super awake?

The Simpson effect - a DIY recipe for dry skin | Ayesha

If the title hasn't intrigued you enough, take a look at this rather unflattering photo: 

Yep, I've turned into a Simpson!

In all seriousness, this is a face mask that I experimented with recently. It is not a new idea or one that I have cooked up myself; it is a recipe that I found a number of years ago, then tried it with my cousin last year, and now I'm finally doing a blog post on it!

I had found that this face mask not only gave my skin the hydration boost it needed, but that it had completely softened it and my skin looked so bright and clear the following morning. This is what you need to make it:

2 tbsp chickpea flour (basin/gram flour)

1 tsp honey
Splash of milk
1 tsp turmeric powder

Combine all ingredients until it forms a paste, then spread over your entire face. Leave it on for 10-30 minutes then wash off with warm water. Before trying this out, I was worried that the turmeric would leave a yellow residue, but both times I have tried it, it hasn't left any colouring whatsoever. I have read that for some people it has, but nothing that a bit of makeup remover or toner can't get rid of! 

The benefits

Turmeric is an age-old ingredient used in cooking and also for herbal medicinal use - did you know it can cure 99 diseases? It contains antiseptic properties, and I am not sure of the science behind it but it is very good for helping to control acne too. Another interesting thing is that I had a friend once whose baby came down with a cold; she spread turmeric over her baby's face and within 3 days the cold completely disappeared! 

The chickpea flour is used as a gentle exfoliator. Flour in general is very good for buffing the skin which also adds to the glowiness afterwards.

Honey is also a natural antiseptic but I used it as the 'glue' to combine all the ingredients together. It is also super moisturising!

Milk is also a great moisturiser and I used it purely just to loosen up the mixture so it wasn't as thick. You could use water, but I wanted extra hydration.

I really enjoy these 'natural' things; did you know that I've started to add bicarbonate of soda to my toothpaste to whiten my teeth? It's a slow process, but it is working!

Have you tried any DIY beauty treatments? Let me know in the comments below!

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