The Leo Cupcake: Simple chilli chocolate recipe with cayenne, cocoa, and cinnamon

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It’s that time of week again! One day to go, then it’s back to the weekend! Last week I did the Gemini Salted Caramel cupcake, so, for my next zodiac-themed sweet, I wanted something dramatic. Which brings us to…Leo (July 23-August 22).

 

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Life can be especially dramatic if you’re a Leo; this is the sign that thrives being the centre of attention. In fact, I call it ‘Limelight Leo’ for this very reason.
People under this sign are super extroverted, confident, and bold, and I guess this makes for a great leader (to a point) since they’re courageous and enthusiastic—always a great inspiration to the team!

 

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Along with Taurus, Scorpio, and Aquarius, Leo is a ‘fixed sign‘. This means that they stand their ground on issues they believe in. This determination and persistence is obviously great when something needs getting done.
But, this also means they can be stubborn, inflexible; maybe even aggressive when they want to get their point across. This single-minded, opinionated side to them can be hard to work around.

 

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Its element is Fire, so right there you get a sense of how powerful this personality can be. Also, its zodiac symbol is the Lion—talk about king of the jungle! People under this sign are as protective of their loved ones as a lion is of its pride.
One thing about Leos is that, with their confidence, they can be pretty egocentric. This is definitely a characteristic of the Leos I know! If you want to stay on their good side, don’t ignore them.

 

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On to the cupcakes:

With all these Leo traits in mind, you can straight away see why I chose CHILLI CHOCOLATE! It’s dramatic, fiery, and honestly? You either love it or you hate it!

I used this recipe from All Recipes, and it is delicious! Really simple to make, and it doesn’t take too long. Just a note, though: the recipe says the batter needs only a few drops of milk—I needed so much more than that. But see how it goes.

 

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Stay tuned for the next zodiac cupcake post, ’cause next up is Virgo! Obviously my favourite to do since it’s my star sign!

The Gemini Cupcake: simple salted caramel recipe

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Happy Thursday! One more day until the weekend! Two things I love in this world are astrology and desserts. One enhances my spirituality and sense of self, the other just tastes damn good.

I’ve decided to do a series on zodiac-themed cupcakes—basically, I’m going to assign a flavour to each sign according to the sign’s characteristic. I’m a Virgo, so I’m especially looking forward to that one!

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First up is Gemini (May 21-June 21).

One of my cousins is a Gemini, as are two of my other friends, and let me tell you: they are all or nothing. Not as full-on as the Fire signs—Gemini’s element is Air—but I’d definitely say people in this sign are of the more extroverted variety. They’re known to be communicative—definitely sociablefriendly, lively, flexible, and original. Their flexibility weaves in with the fact that, along with Sagittarius, Virgo, and Pisces, Gemini’s a mutable sign; people under this sign like to go with the flow. They’re also quite volatile, indecisive, and impulsive.

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Because of their restless, curious nature, and the fact that they love experiencing new things, I wanted a flavour that would have impact. So, I chose SALTED CARAMEL! My other reason for choosing this particular sweet-and-salty combo is the sign’s symbol: The Twins. They make up the Gemini constellation, and are associated with Castor and Pollux of Greek mythology.

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Recipe Details!

I used the cupcake and buttercream recipe straight from Jane’s Patisserie here, and it’s so easy to follow! The recipe makes about 22, with some buttercream left over. Also, it says cooking time is 18-20 on 170ºC. I have a fan oven, so I put it on 150ºC. Since my oven also seems to cook things way faster than I want (I’ve burned some things in there oops!). I put the cupcakes in for 8 minutes—when I took them out, they were baked to perfection on the outside, but I stuck the tip of a knife in and it came out with a bit of batter. TIP: cover the cupcake with aluminium foil, then put them back in the oven for 2-3 minutes. They’ll bake evenly, then, and the tops won’t burn!

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The caramel recipe is by Nigella Lawson here, and it’s so good and also so easy to make—you don’t need a thermometer! You can use it to drizzle over the cupcakes when they’re iced and finished, and also in the buttercream itself.

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Hope you enjoyed this 1 of 12 upcoming posts, and stay tuned for the rest!

Taste For Turquoise: how to style stripes with a midi skirt

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— Scroll down to the bottom of the post for outfit details —

With all the grey and gloomy weather—and the horrible hair day I’m currently having—it’s important to wear an outfit that takes your mind off the negative. And how can you be mad when you’re wearing turquoise? It’s the colour of the ocean, of summer, and of all things good—plus, it always makes me feel happy and calm (VERY important when you’re having a bad hair day!)

Also, another Summer essential of mine is the classic striped top—in black and white, of course. It’s so preppy yet Parisian chic, and is the one pattern that goes with everything. See how I styled it in my Valentine’s Day post!

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This jersey midi skirt from Topshop is my favourite. It goes with nearly everything, it’s stretchy, and it’s super comfy! A little too warm to wear during the hot summer months when I go to Lebanon, but perfect for this 11ºC weather!

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Let’s talk ACCESSORIES. The great thing with figuring out outfits for this blog is that it’s pushed me to dig out all my jewellery that—for some reason—I stopped wearing altogether. I LOVE the chunky beads (and the turquoise!) on these necklaces.

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This bag might just be my lifeline. Yes, it can be a little on the small side when I’ve got a chunky purse to stuff inside, but it’s perfect for all-day shopping trips and for touristing during the holidays. It’s light and compact, and ultra-feminine with the big bow! It’s also red, one of my favourite colours, and the fact that it goes with nearly everything makes it a perfect suitcase/travel essential!

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OUTFIT: TopBHS / SkirtTopshop / CardiganSuite Blanco / Bag – Stradivarius / SocksNew Look / SneakersJennyfer / Necklaces / EarringsI AM

Lutterell Hall Layabout: how to style a pastel pink coat with cut-off boyfriend jeans

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— Scroll down to the bottom of the post for outfit details —

Hello! Here, in England, we’re finally getting a little taste of warmer Spring weather. It doesn’t feel like it yet, though, because I’m still having to layer and it’s raining like crazy. I love grey, rainy weather—it’s peaceful and pretty—but, as a fashion blogger, it’s a nightmare. It washes out the colour in every picture and makes editing a tough job.

And because Spring is just on the horizon, I’m breaking all the pastels—in particular, this candyfloss pink coat I also wore here in my Valentine’s Day post.It’s warm – but not stuffy—and it fits really nicely.

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Selling at Peacocks for just £12, this black turtleneck is one of my favourite new piece of clothing. I bought it back in January and it’s perfect: the material is light enough that there’s breathing room, but it’s still warm; it’s close-fitted; it reminds me of the one Rachel wore here in ‘Friends’.

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This belt is one of my all-time favourites: it’s super dramatic, with the faux Swarovski crystals studded around, and it adds that extra oomph to an otherwise muted outfit. PS. I am loving the olde-worlde feel of these black double doors behind me. So cool.

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These chunky-heeled Mary Janes from Topshop are the best. They’re so comfy, and I don’t feel like I’m teetering on the edge like with stilettos and other skinny heels. I think they give everything a 90s feel, and it’s just all good.

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OUTFIT: TopPeacocks / JeansH&M / CoatNew Look / HeelsTopshop / Bagvintage / Belt – (old)

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Tweed ‘n’ Tassel: look chic and unique in workwear fit for the office

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— Scroll down to the bottom of the post for outfit details —

Happy Hump Day! We’re finally passing the midweek signpost, and we’re officially in March! Spring is finally here! Can you tell I’m excited?

 

Even though I love winter and the cold weather, I can’t wait to wear a nice outfit and not have a coat cover it up. I also can’t wait for more sun and blue skies, and the beach in summer.

 

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The only office job I’ve ever had has been through my work experience days in a newsroom. For that, obviously, you’ve got to dress smartly – no jeans, no super-low tops, no hats, and so on. But I feel like this outfit is super work-appropriate, down to the straight-legged, plain black trousers.

 

I got this cardigan from a secondhand boutique in Nottingham, and I fell in love with it right away. I couldn’t get over how Chanel-esque it was; the tweed, the tassels, the pearl detailing…it’s just beautiful.

 

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This necklace, with its velvet ribbon and diamond-esque heart is reminiscent of Valentine’s Day, and way back when my last fashion post was (uh-oh, I’m slacking). I think it gives the outfit a little punch.

 

And, finally, the bag. I love it so much, and it really ties an outfit together.

 

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OUTFIT: TopNew Look / TrousersTopshop / Cardigan – White Rose / Bagfrom TunisiaNecklacegift / EarringsI-AM / LipstickRimmel

Happy Pancake Day! Easy 3-ingredient, healthy recipe by Karlie Kloss

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Happy Pancake Day! It’s finally that time of year again, when we’re nearing Spring and we’re just that one step closer to Summer!

 

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I look forward to Pancake Day every year – for obvious reasons! – but since I’m on a strict diet, I wanted something super healthy. I subscribe to Karlie Kloss’ Youtube channel, and quite some time ago, she posted a recipe video for 3-ingredient pancakes. Yes. Just THREE ingredients!

It looked super quick and easy which, if you’ve ever made pancakes yourself, you’ll know they take some time. Recipe link here. Just one banana (mashed), one egg (beaten), mixed in with a handful of oats.

I also added a dash of cinnamon and vanilla extract, as Karlie suggests, and used coconut oil in the pan. Smells. So. Good.

 

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I topped with greek yogurt, bananas, and organic honey. Try it out! You’ll love it.

 

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Valentine’s Day: Look pretty in pink and winter warm

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— Scroll down to the bottom of the post for outfit details —

Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s a good day so far! I’m feeling pretty in pink, and I can almost feel the love in the air! (Though that might just be because I watched ‘Fifty Shades Darker‘ yesterday).

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It rained yesterday and this morning in typical pre-Spring fashion, so this pavement is splotchy beyond reason. Though, it’s nothing these hot pink, bow-adorned, jelly heels can’t handle! Socks and sandals, I know, are a quite the fashion no-no, but a) in winter, it’s just plain practical, and b) it’s cute!

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One of my favourite colours is pink, and this coat from New Look reminds me of a dusty rose shade, or muted cotton candy. It’s so warm, great for layering under, and I wear it with everything!

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I bought this heart-patterned cardigan a couple of years ago, and only now am I breaking it out on the day of love! It reminds me of something off ‘The Mindy Project‘, which makes me love it even more.

I’ve worn the striped top underneath maybe 30-40 times since I bought it a few months ago. A black-and-white striped top is a wardrobe classic, and I consider it a neutral, like black, camel, or navy, simply because it goes with everything, patterned or otherwise!

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OUTFIT: TopBHS / CardiganDorothy Perkins / SkirtTopshop / CoatNew Look / HeelsASOS / BagFrank Walder / SocksHairband H&M / EarringsI AM