The Great Blogger Bake Off

Blogger Bake Off 3It was no sooner than the finale of the Great British Bake Off aired on TV that the lovely guys at Joe Blogs Network teamed up with Currys and Glasgow’s own Cookery School to create a baking bonanza for us bloggers. With many of us feeling inspired and ready to get cracking in the kitchen, the timing could not have been better! Titled the Great Blogger Bake Off (natch!), the event brought together many of my favourite local babes along with a few new faces too and promised to help us channel our inner domestic goddesses by giving us a chance to bake a plethora of sweet treats in the bright, fun Cookery School environment (with the pro’s on hand…just in case…).

Blogger Bake Off 5

I decided that it would only be right to dress in theme – well, wouldn’t you? My outfit inspiration of the day was the ever fabulous Custard Cream: the awesome NIkki McWilliams had just sent me my own biscuit bow for my hair and I paired it with a custard-hued dress from Ralph Lauren. I can never resist a little glitter though, and flat shoes helped me stay comfy during a long, productive day in the kitchen!

After arriving in the Cookery School and donning our custom aprons, there was no time to dilly-dally as we had FOUR bakes to get to work on! Chef Danny showed us the ropes – we would be starting off with scones, followed by cupcakes, Victoria sponge and chocolate-chip muffins. Yum! Would I enjoy baking all these goodies as much as I would enjoy eating them? There was only one way to find out….

Blogger Bake Off 4

Putting together a baking team was simple – and with Lori, Lisa Marie and Michelle by my side, #TeamSparkle was soon born! Where were these ladies years ago when I took Home Economics and got paired up with that kid that was always absent?! Anyway! We got right to work on our first bake – the humble scone (blogger’s tip for bluffers: to dust your countertop evenly, toss that flour down with a little pizzaz, girl!). I knew I was in good company when my team-mates and I agreed to skip the raisins (‘deid flies’) explained in the recipe and make our jumbo-sized buttery scones sans fruit. With recipe rebellion AND good taste in accessories in common, we were off to a flying start!

Before long it was time to slather our finished scones in cream and jam and enjoy them with a cuppa. Heaven.

Next up, we put together the batter for our cupcakes and Victoria sponge and popped them in their cases, ready for the oven (blogger’s tip for bluffers: make sure your ingredients are the same temperature so the batter comes together smoothly – we want cakes after all, not scrambled eggs!). Lisa Marie, looking like a sassy Glaswegian Rizzo from Grease, even matched her gingham paper case to her top!

Blogger Bake Off 1

With Twitter and Instagram being practically set alight with tips, photos and quotes from the day, was it any surprise that we managed to get #CurrysInTheKitchen trending that afternoon?! After a spot of lunch, we put together our final bake of the day – chocolate-chip muffins – and set about decorating our cupcakes (blogger’s tip for bluffers: let your cake cool down before you attempt decorating! The ‘melted welly’ look is NOT appetising!) with more sugar sprinkles, food colouring and chocolate than you could shake a spoon at.

At that point, I brought out our secret weapon – my stash of edible glitter! They don’t call us Team Sparkle for nothing…

Blogger Bake Off 2

We also filled our Victoria Sponges, oozing with cream and jam, and cooed over the Kenwood Patissiere mixers that we got to play with (two lucky ladies even got to take them home!). High from sugar and the unmistakable scent of fresh sponges, it was just about time to box up our creations and take them away. And if our boyfriends/ husbands/ flatmates/ cats were well-behaved, we even had enough to share!

We came, we learned, we baked. And all while having a wicked time with the Joe Blogs team and the Cookery School staff (who were super kind and patient throughout the day). Our sponsors, Kenwood at Currys even made sure we could keep practising our new baking prowess at home by gifting each of us with a shiny new kMIX hand mixer. I’m thinking of giving macarons a go once I’m in my new kitchen…

_MG_8111

I will leave you with my final blogger’s tip for bluffers: always try to bake with like-minded babes. You’ll have fun, learn from each other and never run out of hands! 

What is your favourite baked treat? Have you ever swooned over kitchenware? And did your Home Economics partner turn up for class?

Licking the spoon,

Miss West End Girl x

The Halloween Girl Gang Project: Where My Witches At?

Wardrobe Convos Lynsay25It’s week three of the #halloweengirlgang project and maybe, just maybe, we’ve saved the best until last. This was the first shoot that we did together and it’s the one that I’ve been looking forward to posting the most. I was crazy about American Horror Story: Coven when it first aired on TV, and styling a witchy shoot just time for Halloween was something I’ve always wanted to do. Of course, when you have the addition of your babes by your side the result is pure magic!

Wardrobe Convos Lynsay21

Vicky, Kim, Helen and I created our own fashion coven – the kind that would fly down by broomstick to catch the Topshop sale and still be back home in time to cast a few spells! We were VERY excited to be wearing pieces from Scottish design company Runaway Fox’s Flora Fatale collection – which in my opinion embodies the very essence of the modern witch: stylish but very dangerous! Ooh la la! I’m wearing the Hemlock Deathly Flower necklace, along with a pair of striking antlers (a sample piece that we were lucky enough to borrow for the weekend!).

Wardrobe Convos Lynsay18

When we arrived at the very eerie location – St Cyrus in Arbroath – I gazed at the rocky cliffs, rows of crumbling gravestones and intricate iron fencing. It was perfect. We decided that our witches would feel right at home here and set about pulling some seriously bewitching poses.

Wardrobe Convos Lynsay23

For me, it doesn’t get more gothic than black lace, so I’m wearing a skater dress from H&M covered in intricate lace detail. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might recognise the sunglasses – which are my beloved Bats & Cats at Forever 21 shades. They can take you from zero to badass in a matter of seconds!

With antlers, sunglasses and a statement necklace going on, I kept the rest of my outfit simple with a pair of black ankle boots from New Look. Heels don’t matter if you can just fly everywhere anyway, right?!

Wardrobe Convos Lynsay28

My lipstick is a dark potion by Revlon called Shameless. I am a huge fan of plum-stained lips for Autumn and firmly believe that it’s far too good to be saved for Halloween use only.

With the sun shining, snacks on hand and much laughter, it was easily the most fun I’ve had on a styled shoot. It wasn’t the only thing we did that day, but you’ll need to come back on Friday to see the second part of our graveyard fun…

Wardrobe ConvosGroup11

Don’t forget to go and check out my fellow fashionistas on their blogs this week to see the rest of the spellbinding shoots!

Where my witches at? 

Miss West End Girl x

 

All photography by Ross Bull

Friday Hi-Fives: Making the Most of Each Moment

Friday Hi Fives

I always read articles about making the most of every moment, and it’s something I really do believe in. If the last week has been anything to go by, I reckon I’ve made a decent go of it! You might remember that I spent last weekend in London, and I managed to jam-pack it full of meetings, brunches and coffee dates. It was awesome to see some of my main babes, like Erica and Kylie, chat blogging business (and see some of the swankiest offices EVER), and even squeeze in a trip to Brick Lane and Spitalfields Market. We also spotted Tim Burton & Helena Bonham-Carter having a browse at the market (LIFE. MADE.) and had our share of yummy meals (including an unforgettable brunch at the Ace Hotel!).

Back home, it was straight back into another busy week! We launched the second week of our Halloween Girl Gang posts with some unlikely style icons and I started buying furniture for the new flat (including the cutest sofa ever!). I also went along to some smashing events with Joules, Perfect Gifts & Interiors and YUU Beauty – I love discovering new brands and businesses, and it’s always exciting (in a different sort of way) when an established company decides to set up shop in our fair city.

I ended the week with a manicure from Glasgow’s finest, Swoon Nails. It features glitter, studs and some adorable decals by DIY Nails and Nancy Mc! Perfection. I can’t wait to show them off this weekend! Before we head into the next two days, let’s celebrate what’s made this week amazing, shall we?

Link Love

My lovely friend (and fellow Halloween Girl Gang member!) Vicky launched her new blog – go say hi!

Reading about Gary’s favourite moments in horror films is making me MEGA excited for Halloween

I want to try out Emily’s sugar skull make-up tutorial 

Sometimes you need no words – just striking photos. I love Emma’s little glimpse into London’s China Town

Why I Wanted to be Just Like Wednesday Addams Growing Up (and still do!) 

Also Making Me Smile…

Treasure hunting at Beyond Retro

Spotting beautiful street art

Devouring delicious handmade chocolates by Chocolat Blanc 

The fact that I am sporting a tiny bucket of popcorn on my left thumbnail

The first hug hello after being apart…

 

What’s made your week awesome? Have you been making the most of each moment too?

Love,

Miss West End Girl x

 

Older posts «