JC Blogs: Sharing the Love #2

SPRING

It’s sharing the love time! I really enjoyed my first post last month sharing 7 of my favourite bloggers and this will now be a permanent fixture on the last Saturday of every month. Not only do I get to highlight some awesome blogs which I consistently read but hopefully you guys will find some favourites as well. This month is again a heap of blogs which I have been reading for months, and are always consistently awesome!

Josies Journal

Josies Journal

Josie blogs all about fashion, beauty and lifestyle. I looove her style posts, honestly she always has the best stylish yet still so comfy looking outfits, pretty much my ideal. She also has cystic fibrosis and blogs a lot about what the condition is and how it affects her to share awareness – honestly this girl is so strong and so lovely! My favourite post recently has been lifestyle week 11 (woo blogger events!)

Ginevrella

Ginevrella

Jennifer is one of my favourite lifestyle bloggers! I love catching up and reading her posts all about her art, recipes, and what she has been up to! She is a medical student which I always find so fascinating and she always shares an insight into her placements and what she has been up to at the hospital. My favourite post recently has been the A-Z of me!

toasty

Toasty

Beth is one of my go to beauty bloggers. She always shares her recently beauty picks and I always trust what she says as we have similar complexions! She has such a nice writing style and has recently started venturing into lifestyle posts which I have been really enjoying reading! My favourite post recently has been What Noone Tells You About This Being a Grown Up Thing.

ISWAS

ISWAS London – It Starts With a Sunrise

I’ve been reading Clares blog since I started blogging and I love it! She write all about London, showing off some amazing looking London restaurants (and a lot are in my South West neck of the woods which is ideal!). Seriously the amount food/life envy I get from this blog is immense! She also features a bit of beauty and other bits and bobs. My favourite post recently has been The Rivoli Bar at The Ritz.

Hearting

Hearting

Ioanna always has the most gorgeous images on her blog! Photo goals right there. She blogs all about beauty and lifestyle including some of the most delish looking baking. I really love her blog design and brand as well which is a good source of inspiration for me! My favourite post recently has been Mini Egg Rocky Road!!

uncia and tigris

Uncia and Tigris

First off, how cool is the name Uncia and Tigris? I just love it. Clare blogs all about food, lifestyle, beauty and art and I am pretty obsessed with all of it. She always shares a really good quote each week, gorgeous pictures of Hampshire and a real insight into her life! My favourite post recently has been Taking Stock.

life outside london

Life Outside London

Sometimes it’s hard to remember what it is like outside this giant city, and Michelles blog is the ideal outlet and reminder. Michelle blogs all about here life in Devon and I always get seriously jealous! I secretly live through her posts of cute dogs, wandering by the coast and in the wilderness. My favourite post recently has been A Golden Hour.

And there we have it for this month! Tune back next month for another 7 awesome bloggers.

How do you share the love on your blog?

JC xx

 

JC Beauty: Admitting I was Wrong – Skincare Update!

Some of you may remember by skincare experiment from last year. In summary, my skin which has been pretty ideal most of my life, suddenly decided to pack its bags and be replaced by some pretty horrendous spots and redness. The main change I had made in that time was the advent of… makeup and my beauty blog! So I decided the best way to handle this was to cut out all skincare whilst decreasing any makeup products which I put on my skin.

And so what happened? Overall, it got better. Definitely better! A lot of the spots were gone, my face could breathe and I felt happier. BUT! It wasn’t perfect, my skin hadn’t gone back to my teen clear skin. I wasn’t getting a whole heap of spots, but I was still getting some – I pretty much consistently still had 1-2 always lurking or chilling on my face. So do I think my ban helped? Definitely.

But, I was wrong! And you won’t hear me admit this often, but I was. Decreasing skincare really helped, but introducing some new skincare has now brought my skin back to it’s old and clear self (seriously, not even at that time of the month, it’s still clear!).

Now you’re probably thinking, why did you even try any skin care when you were on a ban? Well… I had a sudden freak out that I was getting wrinkles. Now I am 23, but maybe it was just an ill-lit room, but seriously I had a NEED for feeling like I’m doing something to prevent my skin from getting older.

no 7 protect and perfect review

So… I looked over to Paul. Now Paul has been using the No7 energetic men’s moisturiser for years, seriously all the time! And I think it works pretty well as he looks pretty youthful if I don’t say so myself! And coincidentally, I happened to have received a travel sized No 7 Protect and Perfect night cream sample, so I quickly pulled it out and gave it a try.

And… I freaking love it. It has such a unique texture, it’s almost like a gel. It is not heavy like most night creams, it sinks in and leaves your skin just feeling rich. My skin feels instantly refreshed before bed and looks pretty spiffy when I wake up as well.

So when my day cream ran out, what did I do? I ran out and bought the No 7 Protect and Perfect Day cream. It is SPF 15+, which is a little lower than my usual, but I really like it. It sinks in quickly, doesn’t leave me shiny at all and helps my skin feel soft and smooth.

no 7 protect and perfect review

And the best bit? My skin is so clear!! I don’t know what does it! I always thought cleansers would be the answer but clearly not. I even was reading the reviews on the boots website, and so many people have also said that their skin is so clear, so it isn’t just me! Now, it’s obviously time for a bit of photographic proof. I scoured my old photos to try and find one which clearly showed my spots which was quite difficult. I finally found on, but it happened to be the day I decided it would be fun to do to one light eye and one dark eye as a makeup experiment. I look a bit demented but hopefully you can get the idea of what I was still dealing with! (Also learnt that I prefer light

Now, it’s obviously time for a bit of photographic proof. I scoured my old photos to try and find one which clearly showed my spots which was quite difficult. I finally found one, but it happened to be the day I decided it would be fun to do to one light eye and one dark eye as a makeup experiment. I look a bit demented but hopefully you can get the idea of what I was still dealing with! (Also learnt that I prefer light make-up!)Photo 16-09-2014 6 47 26 pm

 

And the after, that was towards the end of last year, and here is an update from right before I got my hair cut at the end of March with not a slick of makeup on:

After

 

Woo! Now of course it can’t all be roses, there are 2 issues I have with these products. 1 is that I hate the packaging, I would so much prefer them to be in a pump rather than this tub where I never know how much to stick my finger in.

And 2, the price. Oh, it pains me. Going from spending a grand total of £0, any increase is painful. And these, well they are about £23 a pot. Not hugely expensive compared to some other brands but still pricey for me. But I have found that every time I’ve gone to rebuy they are either on 3 for 2, or I have a voucher for a fiver off, so I don’t think I’ve spent over 17 pounds.

So there you have it, I was wrong, this has turned into a No 7 Protect and Perfect review, but really is it worth it? Oh yes it is.. 

What is your go to skincare at the moment?

JC xx

JC Bakes: The Queen of Vanilla Cupcakes

JC Bakes | Queen of Vanilla Cupcakes

It’s been awhile since I last baked. Like seriously ageeees. I think the last time was probably the ANZAC biscuits. Baking doesn’t really fit in with the whole sugar ban, it’s difficult to bake up a giant batch of deliciousness then not be able to eat any of it. But when Baking Mad got in touch and challenged to me to make a delicious vanilla bake, I couldn’t resist, especially when I knew I had a bake sale at work coming up – so I decided on the classic, vanilla cupcakes*.

Cupcakes sometimes baffle me, they can be a bit tricky compared to muffins and sometimes run the risk of ending up super dry (which has happened to me a fair few times). This is why a recipe which includes making a vanilla syrup them pouring it all over the cupcake itself really appealed to me. And trust me, it works out, being a sweet, soft and spongy cupcake which is dare I say it, nice and moist.

These cupcakes are the queen of vanilla. Seriously, vanilla sponge, vanilla sugar syrup poured over the top then topped with a vanilla cream cheese icing. I do love me some vanilla, I’ve been a vanilla ice cream girl ever since I was young. (Do you think I could get the word vanilla in that paragraph one  more time? Now I’m saying it too often and the word starts to sound funny…) 

These are a quick and easy bake, you can make your cupcakes, then whilst they are baking whip up the syrup and icing and pop them all together.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Ingredients:

JC Bakes | Queen of Vanilla Cupcakes

Cupcake Base:

  • 200g Butter
  • 200g unrefined golden sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g self raising flour

Sugar syrup:

  • 50g unrefined golden sugar
  • 4TBSP water
  • 1sp vanilla extract

Method:

You can pop over to Baking Mad to get all the full details on the method. But basically, I mixed up my sponge ingredients and baked them for 20 minutes. I used an ice cream scoop to put the mixture into the cupcake tin, and it was the best pro tip I’ve followed in awhile! The perfect amount of mixture, straight in the cases and not all over the tin, spoons and my hands.

JC Bakes | Queen of Vanilla Cupcakes

Whilst baking, I combined the sugar and water on the stove until it simmered and made a syrup, then I added some vanilla extract.

JC Bakes | Queen of Vanilla Cupcakes

Once they were baked, I poured a teaspoon of syrup over each cupcake. My attempt at icing definitely wasn’t the best, I combined the ingredients but couldn’t get the mixture to become fluffy and be able to go in the icing bag, so I just spooned it on top instead. I think if you had a good whisk, or a strong arm you would probably be better at this part!

Then finally I decorated with these cute heart and funfetti sprinkles, because really, cupcakes just don’t look complete until they have sprinkles on them right?

JC Bakes | Queen of Vanilla Cupcakes

I may have scoffed two of these in quick succession on my sugar cheat day and they were just delicious, but promise the rest went off to work on Monday!

What have you been baking recently? Are you a fan of vanilla?

JC xx

*This post was written in collaboration with Baking Mad, but of course, if I didn’t love it then I wouldn’t blog it!

JC Writes: Top 6 Podcasts for Curious Minds

7 Podcasts (1)

Can I claim to be cool because I listened to podcasts before the advent of serial?! I love podcasts for when I am walking or doing some laborious project (like cleaning…). However, what I really like is that they keep you inquisitive. I’ve found since leaving Uni, I don’t study science anymore. I’m no longer immersed in knowledge and information and I miss it! Sometimes it feels like if I don’t keep my brain working on new and interesting topics, it will slowly get mushy. So here are my top 6 podcasts I really enjoy for keeping your mind curious and non-mushy? (maybe I need to listen to more vocab podcasts…) 

Invisibilia

podcasts

This is a podcast about invisible forces. Each episode it explores a different kind of force which influences our lives. It varies from thoughts, to expectations, to categories to electricity.

It is hosted by two really entertaining women, Lulu and Elise and combines stories, interviews, and science in each episode. Not only is it knowledgeable, but it approaches topics in such interesting ways. I have learnt so much in such a short time.

Favourite Episode?

I really enjoyed the ‘How to Be Batman’, this explores the topic of expectations, and what would happen if we stopped expecting blind people not to be able to see. It explores it through a stories and examples in that if we stopped assisting blind people then they would learn to ‘see’ through other means (like echolocation). It was fascinating! And I do have to say that after listening to it, you do not need eyes to see.

The Skeptics Guide to the Universe

skeptics guide to the universe

This is a podcast I have been listening to for years! It has over 500 episodes so far. It focuses on skepticism, and the art of questioning everything. SGU is hosted by three brothers and they occasionally have guests on as well. It usually focuses on recent news stories, any science or claims which have come out which need to be looked at from a more critical angle, and has several features each week (unknown scientists, guess the noise, 3 truths, one fiction). Overall, I find these guys really entertaining to listen to. They are quite long (90 mins each) so probably listen to every second episode. But this really keeps your mind questioning what you hear in the media (question everything!).

Favourite Episode?

There are so many! But I just listened to episode 500 which was a good one.

Mysterious Universe

mysterious universe

This is more of a recent discovery. MU brings latest news in all areas about anything strange, weird or wonderful. So essentially they talk about anything recent and interesting. But I really love the hosts – two Aussie guys who are pretty hilarious. They cover some odd topics, chatting about news, their lives and everything in between. These guys also tend to be a bit more willing to talk about mysterious things which science can’t explain. A bit of an opposite to the skeptics, but hey, it’s good to get both sides of the coins right?

Favourite Episode?

13.08 was a good one recently! It delves into the MH370 conspiracy and about eating bugs.

Thinking Sideways Podcast

thinking sideways

This podcast is all about mysteries we don’t have the answer too – so some ‘thinking sideways’ is needed. But as a murder mystery obsessive, this is ideal. It covers all sorts of unsolved crime, missing persons, or just weird situations where we don’t know the answer. It then spells out some the theories which may have happened and sometimes gives you the actual answer. The hosts are really entertaining, and they have quite pleasent voices, which is always ideal for a podcast.

Favourite Episode?

The Tylenol Murders was a really interesting one! It was all about in the 80s, some Tylenol was laced with potassium cyanide and ended up killing around 6 people, but it was never discovered who may have done it, or why.

 Probably Science

download

I really love probably science for my science comedy fix. It is a group of 4 American guys who interview awesome scientists from the famous to the not so famous and talk about science news of the week The dynamic between then is awesome and they are all also comedians so they do make me laugh out loud quite often! They also tend to be quite long which I enjoy as I can listen to them on long commutes or my lunch time walks.

Favourite Episode?

They did an awesome episode interviewing Robin Ince and Brian Cox recently which gave me the giggles!

No Such Thing as a Fish

no such thing

Finally, no such thing as fish is quite well known and to be honest, isn’t totally science-based but I love it! It’s run by the QI elves, so the guys who come up with all the facts and questions on QI (another show which I love). Each week they all come up with one interesting topic/fact and then discuss it. Some of the facts are science-y, some are history but they are all awesome!

Favourite Episode?

They are all pretty good, the most recent episode chatted all about odd tattoos was pretty entertaining, so start with that one!

What podcasts do you listen to?

JC xx