30/06/2016

Lifestyle: June Favourites & July Goals


A week or two ago, we ran a Twitter poll asking you guys, as a couple blog, would you like to read about our monthly favourites and life goals etc.

To be honest, we're not sure how these are meant to go or how they're meant to be laid out, as I've only read beauty bloggers do these kind of things but hey, we'll give it a shot and let us know if this is something you'd continue to read every month!

June Favs:

Food

Restaurant: Flat Iron
Of course the free steak and side was going to feature, how could this not be a favourite! The Shoreditch branch is much more spacious than the Soho one that we went to in May, so as well as it being a favourite resturant in June, it is also the favourite branch overall.


Homemade Meal: Jasmine rice with prawns, muschrooms & pak choi
This one was pretty much the only homemade meal we had blog about this month, so it must be a favourite right? Lately, we've been having a few cheat meals - when I say that I mean, meals we didn't make from scrtach ourselves, mostly stuff like bought oven chicken with mix vegetables from M&S.

People

Twitter to Follow: @CBeeChat
Last week Thursday, we had the priveledge to guest host #Beechat and was able to talk to you lovely people about our favourite subject - FOOD! It was so much fun, everyone was so active and supportive! @blogabtnothing1 is the creator and #beechat is on every Monday, 5PM and Thursday, 9PM!

YouTube to Watch: MamaPapa Nelson
We just want to welcome and support our new blogger friend (and her cute little family) a big welcome to the vlogging life - Francesca has recently uploaded her first ever vlog, which you can watch here. Give her a like, comment and subscribe!

Beauty

Face Scrub: LUSH dark angels
Okay, I know we're not a beauty blog and no where near one, but I thought it would be a great opportunity to add a little part of it since we do have a lot of supportive beauty bloggers and hey, we still care about what we look like too aha this was actually recommended to me and also my first ever LUSH product. I love a face scrub you can proper feel it doing something, but can be controlled to be made softer with certain amounts of water which is great to use for every day use.

Other

Purchase: NutriBlend
To be honest, this was an complete impulse buy - saw it on groupon and without a second thought, it was purchased! I want to make the excuse that we needed one, due to the fact that we didn't have a blender to make milkshakes, but over time, I convinced myself it was the best purchase ever - make smoothies (which we have and will blog about) and be all healthy and stuff with soup and all.


Date Night: The Comedy Store
Read all about what we thought of this night, which is a part of our Date Night last week. We would love to come again but maybe with some friends to enjoy too.

Activity: Oxygen
We were invited by our friends Micah & Eric to accompany them to this place, which we didn't even think one existed in London and the one we did know of were out of London - we planned to go to one near Sheffield, but we ran out of time there. It was seriously so much fun and also counts as exercise - you enjoy this hour with family, a group of friends. your other half and children!

Game: The resistance
There has been a long awaited time, we've been planning to have this game night for over a year now - no word of a lie, do you know hard it is to have everyone together when everyone of your friends work. Well anyway, you can imagine the expectation it held, and oh how we were not disappointed. We were told that this game can ruin friendships, we really do understand why now - such an intense game, but so easy to pick up on. Might have to purchase it ourselves!

Side note: you can watch all these activities listed in 'Other' on our latest VLOG!

July Goals:

- Day trip to Birmingham; Cadbury's world
- Plan itinerary for anniversary holiday
- Keep up with weekly vlogging
- Plan August UK day/weekend trip(s)
- Go to at least one Food Festival
- Go Up the O2 for a Date Night
- Visit at least 2 independent coffee shops in London

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What are your June favourites? Do you have a goal/bucket list? Leave them in the comments below!
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28/06/2016

Favourites: 3 Places to Visit in the UK

We do love a good weekend away without having to travel too far! So staying in the UK has become a thing we do every now and then! So here our our top 3 places to visit - of course this is only out of the places we have been to together, so at the end we'll give you a bit of a plan in terms of where we want to visit in the future. 

1. Brighton


As we said a couple of weeks ago in this post, Brighton is the perfect getaway from London when you want somewhere to have a chilled day or weekend, with there still being great vibes and plenty to do! On a sunny day you of course have the beach and the pier, and setback from their is The Lanes which is full of quirky independent shops, restaurants and cafes. The first time we visited we went to the theatre to see Gangsta Granny - it doesn't compare to the West End but it's much cheaper and still great entertainment! And although we didn't go inside, the Royal Pavilion is another great tourist attraction.

2. Bath




By far the prettiest and unique destination on this list! It is full or history, heritage and looks absolutely immaculate. We only had an afternoon there but it was well worth the long journey that I took from Chester, and it's really not far from London at all! The main point of our visit was to the Roman Baths which is amazing! To be honest, we didn't take in too much of the educational part of the museum, but it was still a lot of fun and it's great for pictures! It's not too far away fromBristol, which is where we stayed (it's so much cheaper than Bath). Although all we did here was go to the nearby shopping centre and visited the Clifton Suspension Bridge. This out does London Bridge every day of the week!

3. Sheffield


Okay so we weren't sure whether to include this as a place to visit as I lived there for two years and will be back next year too, but we do honestly believe it is a great place to go for a weekend. You won't see it on many top places to visit articles/blogs, but it treated us well! Hidden away are so many gems! From the plethora of independent coffee shops and restaurants, city centre parks and green spaces, and nearby Peak District, there is actually a lot to do! 

Where do We Want to Go Next?

To be honest, we could list and list places until we've covered all spots of the UK, but we especially want to go to Edinburgh, Oxford, and we are booking Birmingham tonight for next month! 


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26/06/2016

How To: None Bake Oreo Cheesecake


Finally, a How To post, right? Well, let me just get this out the way - I am one of them people who just wing it and hope for the best. Alright, when I first made it, I followed some instructions but over the years, I just think I remember and just start throwing things together!

To be honest, it's simple enough but I'm just saying I don't follow spoons or cups measurements, I do the finger licking taste test haha as long as it taste good, right? Forgetting about the calories and all ;)

Ingredients:

- 2 packets of Oreos
- 3 tubs of cream cheese
- Icing sugar
- Butter
- Mini Oreos (for decoration)
- Nutella (for decoration)

Instructions:

Oreo base:

1. Using 1 and a half packets of Oreos, seperate the cookies into a sealable bag and the cream part into a small bowl to use later.

2. With all the cookie parts in the sealable bag, close bag and crush the cookies until fine, or what to your preference (the finer it is, the easier it'll mould together to make your base)

3. Combine oreo crumbs with melted butter and flatten at the bottom of your chosen tin

4. Set in the fridge for 20 minuets or until you've finished doing the cream cheese filling haha 

Cream cheese filling

1. In a mixing bowl, combine all cream cheese, along with the cream middle part from the Oreo

2. Sift in icing sugar, to your taste

3. Break in quarters the remaining full Oreos and combine

4. Pour mixture onto your refrigerated Oreo base, to set in the fridge for 2 hours 

Decoration:

1. Use mini Oreos on corners, of course decorate as you please

2. We added Nutella lines and drips for decoration too

3. Take lots of Instagram pictures, post and enjoy! 😁
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How To: Jasmine Rice with Prawns, Mushrooms & Pak Choi


For dinner, we decided to cook for the whole house - we loved the dish that James' mum made for us last time we was there and hoped to recreate it just as well. This dish didn't take long to cook, as long as your ingredients are prepped.

I would like to believe I made an alright job as my grandma approved and she is very precise of how things should be cooked and taste. So I'm proud of myself to be honest.

 Of course this isn't our own recipe, the ingredients and instructions listed below have been copied from the book (although I can't remember which book)

Ingredients:

- 250g (9oz) jasmine rice
- 50g (2oz) of butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and diced
- 200g (7oz) mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- Ginger, peeled and finely grated
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- A dash of hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
- 1 tablespoon of light muscovoado sugar
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, plus extra for frying 
- 350g (12oz) raw, peeled king prawns
- Juice of half a lemon
- 250g (9oz) pal choi, chopped into large pieces
- Salt and black pepper

Instructions:

1. Cook the rice in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain and rinse under cold running water to cool down completely before leaving it to stand in a large sive on a cool place for an hour to dry out

2. Melt half the bitter in a large frying pan or wok over a high heat. Add the onion and fry, stirring regularly for about 5 minutes until soft but not browned. Increase the heat to high, add the red pepper with the mushrooms, garlic and ginger and dry for 3-4 minutes. Top the cooked rice and fry for a couple of minutes until the rice is hot.

3. Mix the soy sauce in a small bowl with the Tabasco, sugar and seame oil. Pour over the rice mixture and toss together over the heat, then set aside and keep warm on a pan. 

4. Heat another frying pan until hot. Add the remaining buyer, then dry the prawns on a high heat for 3-4 minutes until pink and cooked through. Squeeze over the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper before adding to the rice mixture. 

5. Spoon the rice mixture into a hot serving dish. Heat a little extra oil on the second frying pan (no need to wash), add the oak choi and cook over a high heat for a minute until wilted, then season with salt and pepper and are he in a line along the middle of the rice mixture. Serve immediately. 

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Date Night: Dinner @ The Rum Kitchen, Soho & The Comedy Store


Friday night was date night and with date night we try to always do something different each time. So there was no better way than to try a new cuisine and watch some live stand up comedy. With wanting to do something different, it proved to be quite difficult trying to book something that afternoon as everything was either fully booked, didn't stay open late enough, or was just too expensive! But we got the perfect result in the end! 

The Comedy Store is in Piccadilly so we headed to nearby Soho to a place called Kingly Court. It was here where we went to Dirty Bones a couple of weeks back and there was loads of restaurants to choose from. 

We didn't know where we wanted to go but settled on The Rum Kitchen as we have never had Caribbean food together before, and the menu was pretty enticing! The Jerk Chicken bowl was recommended to us by our waitress, but to be fair, I think we had already decided on it ourselves - it was a really good choice! So many flavours from the pineapple and chills, along with the dips and sides of plantain and sweet potato. It was like a part in our mouth - a very spicy one!


The service was good and the atmosphere was obsoletely buzzing with it being Friday night. I think we've said this before but we're like two old Granny's when it comes to loud restaurants! We like to hear what the other is saying without having to shout! The music was very loud but I guess they can't help that they're so popular!

So after here we took the ten minute walk to The Comedy Store. Jessica had never been to any type of comedy show and I've only been to one's in big arenas, so it was a new experience for both of us. The late show didn't start until 11pm and lasted around two hours. We were really surprised it wasn't that busy, it was maybe around half full. The tickets were great value as Jessica's ticket was £14 and my student ticket was just £7. Being a bit sceptical going into it as to how good the comedians would be - it made it even better by the fact that all of the commedians were actually pretty good! They obviously had no shortage of material - it was the day after leaving the EU!

We were just glad we didn't sit on the front row - they took a battering of abuse/banter! Next time we might have the guts to do it - maybe haha! We recommend here for a date and we can imagine it would be good to come with a group of friends! It was great value and great entertainment for a solid two hours! 

Food: ★★★


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23/06/2016

How We Survived a 'Long Distance' Relationship

As some of you may know, before we lived together in London, we begun our relationship in a somewhat long distance status - I quote and say somewhat to this 'long distance' because to some, it may not be long distance and we know it not like we're on other sides of the world, but nevertheless in different cities. James originally from Chester, moved to Sheffield for university and I, Jessica born and raised in London - that is a total distance of (approximately) 166 miles from London to Sheffield, and just a little bit more to Chester, although both journeys to and from are just over 2 hours one way, and we would only see each other for the weekend every other week - I don't know about you, but it's a lot harder than you think. 

We're not claiming to be any type of relationship gurus, this is just what we believed that worked for us - some may just be complete cliches, as well as personal choices.


Communication.

Communication is the most important aspect in any relationship, especially long distance. James and I would constantly be texting throughout the day, within reason of knowing each other's schedule. Every morning we'll send send each other a “Good morning” text, followed by messages in between, letting each know what's going on to avoid that horrible feeling of the unknown. Before the day ends, we would give another call, FaceTime or back back in the day when we used to Skype because James didn't have an iPhone, update each other with our days and sleep in the phone, it became a habit and it's actually very comforting to know they're on the other end. 

Even when we don’t have much to say, the regular messages and updates, helps us feel involved with each other’s day. 

Trust.

A relationship is nothing without trust. Long distance can make some people go crazy and have you wondering what you partner is up to. Who are they with? Why aren’t they texting me back? Why aren’t they picking up their phone? If you’re constantly asking these questions then you’re already falling to the ground. The more you question your partner, the more they feel they can't share or want to share with you. As a result, your partner may become distant and you might find yourself turning into a crazy person (which lets be honest, I already am)

To avoid all this chaos you have to trust your partner is doing exactly what they say they’re doing and vice versa. Trust and communication are just as equally important. 


Don't lose yourself. 

This is so important. They you can't expect someone to love you if you don't love yourself first. This of course doesn't just apply to long distance relationships, but in all relationships.

You will have to occupy your time when you’re away from your other half because time can be so slow! Some people are so dependent on their partner to fill their spare time and once you realize that person is miles away, you’ll get bored. Make plans with your friends, go out for a drink, dinner or just work like I do, which I still do anyway, as well as having your alone time at home in a book or watching - or whatever helps you fill your time.  If you start to have a lot of time on your hands you will find yourself always wanting to talk to your partner and they might find that annoying, especially if their busy filling their own time.

Planning.

Call me crazy, but I am OCD when it comes to planning, it is in my nature, in my blood - so this was something that didn't struggle with us. As mentioned previously, we arranged to see each other every two weeks, purely because it sounded like a bearable amount of time away from each other, as well as the minor elements in between, like travel expenses.

You could only imagine how much we've spent on travel costs, although we did have many methods in saving money, which we did a post here, and one which includes booking 12 weeks in advance, that's was a big changer.

As well as to keep up with each other's schedule when not together, but also to balance and help organise when we could see each other and what we will be doing, I researched for a couples app, which we still use today (for blogging and YouTube scheduling, as well as personal events) called 'Avocado', life changing and super useful!


Prepare to sacrifice. 

Due to only be able to see each other every other weekend, we had to make personal sacrifices to be with each other - friends and families birthday celebrations and let's face it, everything pretty much happens on a weekend but in the most none negative way, we had to sacrifice that time with others to be together - we alternated and compromised with dates, but some things are just enviable, especially when things are planned last minute and these train tickets had already been bought 3 months prior.

Long distance relationships require extra attention, extra money, just extra everything. It’s going to be challenging at times, but overcoming these challenges will make your relationship stronger!


Now we're living together and we won't lie and say we don't have our rough days, but who doesn't - true love doesn't dies. It's amazing what you'll do for the person you love, and no matter the distance or circumstance, if you're meant to be together, you'll be together.

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Are any of you in a long distance relationship? 
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21/06/2016

Dinner @ Spaghetti House - Westfield, London

Lasagne pasticciate - home made beef lasagne, béchamel sauce and gran padano - £11.75 

Incoming text from Jessica in the middle of the afternoon asking if I want to see Conjuring 2 tonight -  yeah sure! I never find films scary, but oh how tonight was different! Anyway, on to that in a bit!

I met her and Charlyn after work at Westfield for some dinner beforehand, and after wanting to come here before last weeks cinema trip to see Money Monster, our time had come for some spaghetti - well, Lasagne actually.

Tagliatelle al salmone - fresh egg pasta, kiln smoked salmon, cream baby spinach and silicon fennel seeds - £13.95

It was pretty quiet for Westfield standards tonight, so the waiters and waitresses obviously didn't have much to do - we were asked if we would like to order drinks by three different workers, and if everything was okay a fair few times too! It could be good customer service or a bit annoying - I'm not quite sure! Although definitely much better than waiting and not being asked at all! The food was great!

Bruschetta avocado - crushed avocado, egg, sundried tomato, sunflower seeds and lemon dressing - £5.50

Timing worked out great to get to the cinema across the road at West 12 for the film at 7.55. Hands down, the scariest film I've ever seen! If you like horror films, it comes recommended by me! Especially knowing it is based on a true story and based in London, I felt like I was holding my breath for the whole two hours! We won't ruin the story - just go and see it!

Food: ★★★


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Lifestyle: Four Fun Facts Tag


Recently, we've been looking for new blogs and talking to new people via Twitter and we thought we'd share the love in looking through people's blogs and commenting on our favourites - we came across Sarah's post here and thought we'd give it ago! 


This is a fun tag, where there are 15 sets of questions with 4 answers for each. I know usually this is set out for one person, but since there's two of us, we've spilt the answers in two and/or our answers are joint! We hope you enjoy! 

Four Nicknames People Call Me:
1. Jam Jam - Jessica
2. Princess - Jessica
3. Baker - James
4. Bakey - James

Four Jobs I’ve Had:
1.  Sales assistant - Jessica
2.  Events organiser - Jessica
3. Waiter - James
4.  Marketing assistant - James

Four Movies I’ve Watched More Than Once:
1. Shrek
2. School of rock
3. Zombieland - Jessica
4. Home alone - Jessica

Four Disney Movies I’ve Watched More Than Once:
1. Frozen - Jessica
2. High school musical
3. Toy story 
4. Cars - James

Four Books Or Authors I’d Recommend:
1. The girl on the train
2. Looking for Alaska, John Green - Jessica
3. Road Dahl - James
4. Henry Winter - James

Four Places I’ve Lived:
1. London - Jessica
2. Chester - James
3. Sheffield - James
4. London - James

Four Places I’ve Visited:
1. Barcelona
2. Florence - James
3. Australia - Jessica
4. Paris

Four Things I’d Rather Be Doing Right Now:
1. Sleeping
2. Eating a big slice of cake
3. Watching a movie
4. Twitter

Four foods I Don’t Like:
1. Black pudding - Jessica 
2. Brussels sprouts - Jessica
3. Kiwi - James
4. Humous - James

Four Favourite foods:
1. Creamy mashed potato
2. Mushrooms
3. Fish Pie
4. Steak

Four Shows I Watch:
1. Orange is the new black - Jessica
2. Orphan black - Jessica
3. The Apprentice - James
4. Dragons Den - James

Four Things I’m Looking Forward To This Year:
1. Anniversary holiday
2. Olympics - James
3. Christmas
4. More foodie/travel adventures

Four Things I’m Always Saying:
1. I'm sleepy
2. I'm hungry
3. Can we eat now?
4. What are we having for dinner?

Four Youtubers You Should Watch (clickable):

Four Twitter Accounts You Need To Follow (clickable):
4. @lanirae18

Please feel free to do this tag yourself, we'd love to see your answers! Leave your links/answers below!

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20/06/2016

Dinner @ Flat Iron, Shoreditch - London

The Flat Iron Steak, served with house leaf salad - £10
Dripping cooked chips - £2.50
Creamed spinach - £3


It's Monday afternoon and you receive an email calling out for FREE STEAK! Would you even have a second thought? No, well yes if there's an England football match - but FREE steak, right around James' work from 6PM - why the heck not, right?

Let's start from the beginning, there's a new Flat Iron that opened in Shoreditch today and they are giving away their steak and a side for FREE! We've here once before, not too long ago actually and it was great - worth the money and all! So of course we had to jump at the chance of it being free!

As James stood far far far back in the line, as he waited for me, Jessica (as I finish work later and had to travel 45 minuets to get there), we though we'd at least be near enough by the time I got there.

Oh how we were wrong, just about half way from where James originally started when I got there, but we felt we should stick it out. They did hand out a free cocktail to all and a bag of popcorn, which I guess was good enough.

We were about 6 tables away from being seated but it was getting close to the 8 PM kick off... should we stay or should we go? I don't know about you, but James had been standing in that line for about 2 hours and I about an hour and a bit, I wasn't going to waste that and nor was I going to sit during a match starving - a hungry Jessica is not a happy Jessica.

James must love me more than football or should I say he loves food more than football because we stayed and since we were so close to the door - we connected to their wifi and James watched the football in the line, to when we sat down and ate - I won't complain, he had the best of both worlds and I got my free steak!

We ordered two more extra sides and that's all we paid for! 2 steaks and 4 sides, all for £6.75 (inc. service charge) not bad ey!

We then of course proceeded to a some what empty bar called Hoxton 7 to finish the game - would have had a drink or two but we just wasn't feeling it, so a coke it was. It was a lovely spontaneous evening, although a very long one!

Food: ★★★★


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19/06/2016

Date Night: Cinema & Dinner @ Carluccio's & 'Money Monster' @Westfield, London

Spaghetti carbonara - £9.25

So this week's date night was nice and simple, a trip to the cinema and dinner out. Back at the start of our relationship, we seemed to always be in the cinema, mainly because I, James hardly ever watched a film - and I had a lot of catching up to do! So now, whenever we go a month or so without going, we feel obliged. But of course, we won't go if there's nothing we don't fancy, but luckily, this film called 'Money Monster' looked great from it's trailer, so that was our decision made!

I don't want to turn this post into a film review, but all i'll say is, if you like a bit of tension and action, i'm sure you'll love it - as did we! The movie started at 8.05pm which worked out just nicely as Jessica had an appointment to get her phone screen repaired. However there was no time to eat a proper meal, so it was just some Five Guys chips until after the movie.

Venison tortellini - £9.50

This bit was undecided so we walked along the outside part of Westfield and chose one of the restaurants that were still open at this time - it was about 10.30pm. Although i've been a couple of times, Jessica had never been to Carluccio's and we both fancied some pasta. I personally think it's really great for what is quite a large chain. The atmosphere was just right, and the service was spot on! Our waiter was so enthusiastic and you could tell he genuinely enjoyed his job!

Jessica chose one of her favourites, Spaghetti Carbonara whilst I had the Vension Tortellini, and hey, why not have a cheeky beer and wine each?! We bumped into Rochelle and Joseph just before our movie and they were heading to the cinema too. Again, time was on our side as when we finished our meal, there movie finished so we got a lift from Joseph home.

It was a great date night and we cannot wait for the next, whatever it may be!

Food: ★★★★


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18/06/2016

Review: Psychic Monkey, Ken & Jesse's Cookies*


As we were browsing Twitter a couple of weeks ago, we found a company called Psychic Monkey. We have since been privileged to have been sent samples from Ken & Jesse's cookies, which is also part of their family business. 

As a blog we have never worked with another company before, and we were very excited to do so! So first, a little background on the company...

'Psychic Monkey is a delivery service specializing in only the tastiest of treats.' The gap in the market they have identified is the lack of late night delivery of tasty treats such as cookies, and to be fair, I can't argue with that! I'd love to have some cookies delivered to me late at night! 

We regularly conversed with Palina (a co-founder of Psychic Monkey) over email and she was very friendly and apologised sympathetically over the cookies taking a while to arrive, which we will allow considering they are still in the founding stages as a company.



Our cookies were hand delivered to our door, although unfortunately I was beaten to the door so we didn't get to meet them! They were presented in a small black carrier bag with their logo on. As you can see from the photo they looked very enticing once the bag was opened up, and we couldn't wait to taste them! 

We received the 24 mini assorted cookies which included a number of different types of cookies, from white chocolate to peanut butter - the latter being Jessica's favourite, and milk chocolate being my personal fave! 

With the cookies, they also included their branded take-away paper bags, which came in handy when establishing what cookies are who's, and I guess sharing them with others haha 

The cookies were nicely shaped and tasty - although we thought the flavour could've been stronger. They were chewy and moist in the best way possible, those are our favourite type of cookies!

Overall, they were very enjoyable and we believe the concept of the Psychic Monkey company has great promise! We would love to try out their cookie sandwich and would very much like to continue to work with them in the future!

Go check out their website for more details and follow them on Instagram & Twitter. 

Psychic Monkey website: http://psychicmonkey.co.uk
Ken and Jesse's website: http://kenandjesses.com
Twitter: @psychicmonkeyy
Instagram: @monkeypsychic

*Contains PR samples - views and photos are our own



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15/06/2016

How To: Hello Kitty Cake Pops


I know, I know, this isn't a fair How To if you haven't got a Hello Kitty cake pop maker, but it's way too cute to not share! We bought this cake pop maker from Lakeland and it was a BARGAIN - you can buy it here, if it's still on sale (this is not sponsored)

It includes:

- 20 Cake pop sticks
- Hello Kitty pink & white dotted ribbon
- Instruction booklet (some recipes, which we listed some below)


There are other cake pop makers out there, if you are not a fan of Hello Kitty, the standard round cake pops maker or even the less expensive, cake pop moulds from Poundland works just as good.

Unfortunately, they didn't come out as planned and as you can see (below) we had a few trial and errors. We will be attempting more on the near future - practice makes perfect right? Although they do taste great, if we do say so ourselves (we made vanilla ones, recipe and more below)


As mentioned, we will also be making them again but with more decorations etc.

Each recipe below makes approximately 24 cake pops

Vanilla Cake Pops

- 125g softened butter
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 125g self raising flour
- 2 tbsp milk

Instructions:

1. Beat together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, until light and fluffy.
2. Add one egg at a time and beat after each addition until fully incorporated, add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Sift the flour into the mixture and add the milk and beat until the mixture is smooth.

Chocolate Cake Pops

- 125g softened butter
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- 100g self raising flour
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp milk

Instructions:

1. Beat together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, until light and fluffy.
2. Add one egg at a time and beat after each addition until fully incorporated. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and add the milk. Beat until the mixture is smooth and throughly combined.

Red Velvet Cake Pops

- 115g softened butter
- 115g caster sugar
- 60 ml soured cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. red food clouring
- 115g self raising flour
- 1 tsp. cocoa

Instructions:

1. Beat together the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl, until light and fluffy.
2. in a jug, gently blend the soured cream, vanilla extract, egg and the red food colouring paste, then gradually add to the butter mixture with 1 tbsp pf sieved flour, beating well after each addition.
3. Sift the remaining flour and cocoa into the bowl and stir well until combined.

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What flavour should we do next? Or even, got any tips on how not to burn them (other than undercooking them😂)
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14/06/2016

Favourites: 3 FREE Things To Do in London

So as we all know, London is not a cheap place to visit, let alone live in. But there are ways to spend your days without having to splurge too much! You may argue that if you want the best, you may have to have a little spare cash hanging around, but if you don't, here are our top 5 free things to do here!

1. The Sky Garden, Fenchurch Street


We came here last summer on a beautiful afternoon, which made the views even more incredible than they would be normally. If you don't know what The Sky Garden is, it's a public garden space... in the sky (kind of!) It gives you incredible views of London, restaurants (this bit doesn't come free obviously), and a great place to just chill and socialise!


Although it's free, you must book in advance as it gets really busy, and obviously they don't want too many people up there at the same time. Security is tight - it's like going through an airport, and then you are taken in a lift which takes no time at all. Suddenly you are at the top of one of London's highest buildings and you are free to explore! Personally, we believe this is much better than pay upwards of £12 to go up The Shard. Although it's nowhere near as high, it's much prettier and you can buy yourself a couple of cheeky cocktails with the money you've saved!

2. Go to a Recording of a TV Show


London is the home of all your favourite UK TV shows (as well as Salford), and the tickets are always free! Together, we have only been to Mr & Mrs, and The X Factor. We did try to go to The Graham Norton Show last week, but there comes the risk - you aren't guaranteed entry in many cases. They oversubscribe the tickets to ensure the audiences are full, but if you do get in, you're in for a lot of free fun!

Head over to SRO Audiences, or Applause Store websites to bag yourself some tickets!

3. The Museums



Of course, the most obvious thing to do for free in London is to go to one of many of the museums that are dotted all around the city. Together, we have been to the Natural History Museum, and the Science Museum - both were incredible! You don't even have to be interested in History or Science if that makes sense - I'm not normally that much interested in either, but it didn't stop me having a great afternoon out and learning a lot along the way!

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12/06/2016

Date Night: The Perfect Garden Picnic



It's in the name really, for Date Night this week, I, Jessica thought it was time to add some home creativity for Date Night. As most people would have their picnic in the park, I thought there no better way to have a nice picnic in our very small front garden. 

Since it's "summer" in the UK, we thought it was that time of the year to put up the gazebo for that shade from when the suns too hot and let's face it, a shield for that unexpected rain and you're not exactly ready to stop the party.



Originally, I wanted to add fairy lights around the gazebo, but it was still very light out but now you have the idea, you could always do so. Of course we had a shared blanket, see if you was in a park could you add your own fairy lights? Cute candles? Use the house wifi to snuggle and watch a film? To have the comfort of knowing your toilet is a minute away? And still be able to enjoy the natures of your own plants and flowers - Oh the joys and benefits right?

From our previous dinner shop in the new M&S simply foods, the day before, we decided to get a somewhat afternoon tea inspired picnic treats, along with some Pimms and lemon, as well as making a few baking bits myself, which I will link below!



M&S bought goodies:

- 2 classic selection sandwiches, BLT, prawn mayo and smoked ham & mustard  mayo (cut in half, again)
- Bistro and Italian style baby leaf salad with avocado (drizzled with olive oil)
- 9 mini afternoon tea fairy cakes
- 4 classic dip selection, sour cream & chive, thousand island, onion & garlic and cheese and chive (served with cut cucumber and yellow pepper sticks)
- 2 scotch eggs
- 6 mini millionaires shortbread
- 3 cans of Pimm's served in a job of strawberries
- Packet of four cheese and red onion combo mix

Home baked goodies:


We hope you enjoyed this post, as much as I enjoyed creating it. Let us know in the comments below what your favourite picnic treats?

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10/06/2016

How To: Puff Pastry Treats


It's Date Night and we've decided on something a little different - full Date Night post will be up on Sunday.

This would honestly be the most simplist thing we've ever made, took no longer than 15 minutes and can be as less or more ingredients as you like.

Please find below how we made them - enjoy! :)

Ingredients:

- Puff pastry
- Nutella
- Strawberries
- Bananas
- Whipped cream

Instructions:

1. Pre heat your oven to 220 degrees and cut your puff pastry into your required shapes (make sure to cut in pairs as it works as a sandwich)

2. Place them on a baking paper and place on a tray and leave to raise for 10 minutes

3. Once done, place one upside down and cover the base with Nutella and put strawberries/bananas in place (we added a spray of whipped cream with the strawberries) and add another puff pastry on top and drizzle with Nutella 

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09/06/2016

Dinner @ London

Steak and avocado salad

Today was a big day... the day we took our first trip to the new M&S Simply Food that opened down the road! They must've knew I was coming to live here! We met straight there after work and got everything we needed for this meal, and also food for tomorrow.

This recipe was on Tasty just a few days ago, and it seems anything with the word avocado in we seem to make these days... clearly! It was super delicious and perfect to eat outside on a summer's evening.

Ingredients:


1 pound sirloin steak

Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons oil
2 bags of mixed salad
2 hard-boiled eggs, halved
1 avocado, sliced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons caesar dressing
Hanf full of crutons

Instructions:


1. Salt and pepper the steak on both sides, being sure to rub in the seasoning, we added some garlic and mixed herbs too.

2. Heat the oil in a pan over high heat until slightly smoking.
3. Sear the steak for about 2 minutes per side, then rest it on a cutting board for 10 minutes.

4. Slice the steak.

5. In your pre-made bowls of combined salad, eggs, avocados, croutons and tomatoes - place your steak on top and add the dressing as you wish.





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