17/04/2017

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

I've made these Salted Caramel Cupcakes twice now; the basic cupcake recipe is super easy to follow, however filling and icing the cupcakes is a bit more complicated and time consuming (however SO worth the yummy cupcakes you end up with), so if you decide to make these cakes make sure you have enough time and perhaps a bit of help to help you prepare the icing and the salted caramel.

The first time I made these cupcakes, me and Meg wanted to film a video and needed a recipe to do so, we found a salted caramel cupcake recipe online but we wanted to put our own twist on the cakes, so we decided to fill the cupcakes with salted caramel as well as creating our own icing to compliment them. If you'd like to check the video out, you can do so here.

The second time I made these cupcakes I had a bit of help from my mum; I attempted to make them by myself, however, honestly, a little bit of help goes a long way, and having someone to cut out the centres of the cakes and ensure the icing and salted caramel is the right consistency for being piped means you have a little less to do.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
210g Plain Flour
1 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
200g Caster Sugar
2 Medium eggs, beaten
170ml Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
112g Butter/Margarine
Salted Caramel Sauce (or anything similar)

Icing:
200g Icing Sugar
100g Unsalted Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Milk
Salted Caramel Sauce (or anything similar)

Method:

1) Preheat the Oven to 175/180 degrees Celsius. Line a cupcake try with 12 paper liners (you can always add more if you have additional cupcake batter).
2) Using a mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and margarine until they're fully combined.
3) Beat the eggs together in a jug and add in the vanilla extract. Gradually whisk the eggs into the sugar and margarine mixture, adding a little at a time and beating well after each addition.
4) Using a separate bowl combine the flour and baking powder. Then carefully fold in the flour mixture alternating with the milk, in several additions.
5) Half-fill the paper cases with the batter and bake them for 20 to 25 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the centre of a cupcake)
6) Once cooked transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.

Filling

1) Once the cupcakes have cooled cut out the centre of the cakes. Make the hole circular and about half way down the cupcake (a small to medium size).
2) Once the centre of the cakes have been removed start piping the salted caramel into the centre of each of them.
3) Replace the centres of the cakes as you go. Cut off the bottom of the centres only leaving the top part remaining - do this so the salted caramel doesn't overflow out of the middle of the cake.

Icing

1) Weigh and combine the icing sugar and the unsalted butter together by whisking the mixture together.
2) Add in the vanilla extract and milk and stir them into the mixture. The icing should be light and fluffy and should drop off a spoon without any force, but not run off a spoon otherwise it is too runny. 3) If you want to add some colouring into your icing you can do so now. To only colour part of your icing remove a small section and place it into a separate bowl. Then add in a drop of your chosen colour.
3) Put the icing into your piping tube and pipe it in a circular motion onto the top of each cupcake. If you have coloured icing too try to place it directly next to your white icing in the actual piping tube.
4) Once you have iced all of your cupcakes return to your salted caramel piping tube and follow the lines of your icing to ensure your salted caramel follows the structure of your icing.
5) Then ENJOY!  

"You can't be sad when you're holding a cupcake"

Until Next Time,

Alice x
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02/04/2017

Author Q&A: Vengeance by Roger A Price

Today I'm doing a Question and Answer with author Roger A. Price, a crime fighter turned crime writer. Price spent over thirty years in the police; retiring as a detective inspector in charge of a covert undercover drugs unit which achieved national acclaim. He served on various units and squads and saw service across the UK, Europe and beyond. Although Price cannot write about the events he encountered, he does base his crime fiction on his many experiences; some of which were good, some not so good.
‘VENGEANCE’ is the second novel in Price's 'Badge and the Pen' series which follows the fortunes of detective inspector Vinnie and his unlikely ally TV reporter Christine, where they both face the most unlikely of threats, as they race to save lives. This blog post is slightly different to my usual blog posts as this is part of the blog tour for Price's new book Vengeance. 

So Roger, what is the first book you remember reading or having read to you?
Not sure which one exactly, but my love of reading fiction came from reading Enid Blyton’s ‘Famous Five’ series as a child. I just loved the way her stories fuelled my young imagination and took me to different place.
Who is your favourite literary character?
There have been so many, but I love Lee Child’s Jack Reacher, and I’m not sure why? Child doesn’t develop the character over his books, as such, but I just love him. Perhaps the lack of authorial intervention simply allows the reader to fill in the blanks. It certainly works for me. I also love Stephen Leather’s Dan ‘Spider’ Shepard.
Which book have you always meant to get around to reading, but still not read?
Any of Earnest Hemingway’s. No excuses, I must go and buy one today. I love some of his quotes; like ‘Always write drunk, but edit sober’.
If you could only take one book with you on a desert island, which would it be?
It would have to be a long one, perhaps it would be time to give War and Peace a try?
What are you currently reading?
Just about to start Takedown by Stephen Leather. (Or should that be one of Hemingway’s? – I’ll do one next).
Who would be at your dream dinner party (alive, dead or fictional)?
Marty Felman, Doctor Who, Spike Milligan and Vinnie Palmer and Christine Jones, of course! Oh and Laurel and Hardy too.
What's the best advice you have ever received?
Don’t eat yellow snow!!
What's the worst advice you have ever received?
Do eat yellow snow!!
Who is your hero or heroine (real or fictional)?
Anyone who encourages others, who is positive and constructive. I can’t stand people who take pleasure in bringing others down.
Where are you happiest?
I quite enjoy it when I can get out on my motorbike on a sunny day.
Who would you like to star in the film of your life?
Clint Eastwood – but a younger version, of course.
Describe your best ever holiday.
My last one; it’s always the last one.
If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
Be very, very childish and have lots of fun.
If I joined you on your perfect day, what would we be doing?
Being very, very childish and having lots of fun.
What do you think is the best thing about social media?
It’s great to be able to connect direct with people who have read your work. When someone takes the trouble to tell you how much they have enjoyed something which you have created, it really, really inspires.
And the worst...?!

Photos of peoples’ lunches, or pints of beer???

Roger A. Price is also doing a Vengeance giveaway. If you'd like to enter please click here.

Vengenance is now avaliable to buy in the UK, US, Canada and Australia. To purchase Vengenance from follow the links below: 

Until Next Time,

Alice x
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07/02/2017

The Woman In Black Review

I first saw The Woman In Black stage play back when I was doing my GCSES, as part of our Drama coursework we had to do a theatre review, and that year coming to our local theatre was The Woman In Black. I remember vividly where me and my friends sat, that we attended 'schools night' (where various schools attend one evening show all at once), and also that we were completely terrified by the end of the show. I think everyone fed off each other and as the audience was full of 14 to 16 year olds, we all felt tense and as young people do - their emotions become intensified. So as the woman in black first appears and all the girls are screaming down in the stalls, we're all looking over the balcony and gripping each others hands tightly to see whats going on. The main thing I remember though - was that although we were scared out of our wits and that it was an absolutely incredible show, so when Meg mentioned wanting to see it, and we found out it was not only coming to the Everyman Theatre again but that we could also get £5 tickets, we jumped at the chance to buy them.

The Woman in Black was written in 1983 by Susan Hill and follows the story of Arthur Kipps. Stephen Mallatratt, a playwright, adapted the story into a play back in 1987, before it first appeared on stage in late 1987 before appearing in the West End in 1989; making it the second longest non-musical play within the west end. The story of Arthur Kipps is portrayed completely differently to that of the 2012 film which stares Daniel Radcliffe. On stage, the play only features 2 main characters (excluding that of the actual Woman in Black), The Actor and Arthur Kipps. The Actor - portrayed by Matthew Spencer - is helping an elderly Arthur Kipps (David Acton) to tell the story of his encounter with the woman in black to his family and friends by performing his story on stage. It is obvious at the beginning of the story that Kipps has never performed before, and so he recruits the Actor to help him perform his story. Within their onstage play, The Actor plays a young Arthur Kipps, whilst the 'actual' Arthur Kipps plays various other characters that appear within his story - these include Keckwick - the driver of the Horse and Trap, Mr Bentley - Arthur Kipps employer who sends him to Eel Marsh house and Samuel Daily - who befriends Kipps on his train to Crythin Gifford and who Kipps seeks advice from about Eel Marsh house - as well as the narrator of the story and various other characters Kipps meets along his journey.

At the beginning of the play, they regularly switch from reality into rehearsing 'the play', showing the alternate stories via white and blue lighting. However, towards the second half of the story, The Actor encourages them to rehearse the play continuously without stopping. Although I did enjoy the first part of the story, the switching back and forth between reality and the play, did get slightly irritating. It was understandable as to why they used this technique as it ensured that the audience remembered that they were performing a play within a play, but also to make it slightly more realistic - for example, the day would come to an end, so they'd stop rehearsing the play and come back the next day to continue. However, I found the second half of the play much more enjoyable as it was more continuous for the story and allowed me to get more invested in the story being told.

After the pairing began telling the story, we follow a young Arthur Kipps (aka The Actor) from London, where he receives his assignment, on his journey to Crythin Gifford, and on the horse and trap to Eel Marsh house. This is where Arthur begins seeing the woman in black and hearing creepy noises around the house - the rocking chair with no one in it, the doors slamming and deafening screams. Once this begins he starts unveiling the story of Alice Drablow - the owner of Eel Marsh house up until her recent death, Jennet Humfrye her sister who is the infamous Woman in Black and Jennets son Nathaniel who is adopted by Alice and her husband before his devastating death when he was only 7 years old; and is the sole reason for Jennet becoming the Woman in Black in the first place.

The play entails you to use your imagine quite a lot, the set stays the same throughout the whole play, with the chairs and baskets being used as different props within different scenes. The horse and trap is created by the two baskets, with the actors bobbing up and down and diegetic sound effects of horse hooves. The chairs are used to show Arthur Kipps switching trains for his journey to Crythin Gifford; and the dog that Samuel Daily lends Arthur to keep him company at the house is created by imaginary stroking and patting, along with the actors crouching down to pet the dog and talk to it. I think that all the ways they create these objects is really clever, they do it in such as way that it isn't hard for us to picture the actual objects and fill in the spaces with our imagination; the actors do all the work with their movements and it makes it easy and enjoyable for us to know what they are doing and when. These elements also added humour into the play - although its a tense horror story and for the most part we were sat with our scarves rolled up and covering our faces, the little bit of humour they injected into the play really made a difference. I can't describe how The Actor crouching down and petting an imaginary dog and making a baby face at it is an hilarious combination - but it is. The interaction between The Actor and the real Arthur Kipps whilst they're in the reality element of the play was also hilarious - their personalities just mixing together; David Acton and Matthew Spencer just effortlessly played off each other. Another element that created a lot of laughter from the audience were the very tense moments - where the darkened stage and dragged out silence made everyone believe they were going to get a frightening jump from the Woman in Black and instead a door slammed or there was a loud scream, yet everyone jumped out of their seats anyway - created a huge amount of laughter within the audience, so much so that parts of what were being said on stage were missed.

I would 100% recommend going to see The Woman in Black if you ever gain the opportunity to. It is a wonderfully terrifying show that provides both tension and humour throughout. I'm somebody who has never been a fan of horror films - there is something about this story that I absolutely love. I do remember being a lot more scared when I saw the play the first time but I think that was just because I was much younger. No matter who you are you're guaranteed to jump out of your seat at least once. The lighthearted elements of the play are a nice release to the very tense moments, and the little twists that are injected into the play make it a lot more interesting too - meaning if you have seen the film before it won't even matter as the play is completely different. Although I've already seen the play once, I think if I do ever get the chance to go again, I'd definitely take it. You never entirely remember a play completely and every director is bound to change small elements anyway.

The Woman in Black is currently touring around the UK and playing at the Fortune Theatre in London. To find out more information about the dates and show click here.

"From the start it has been the Theatres business to entertain people...it needs no other business than fun"

Until Next Time,

Alice x
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30/12/2016

2016

I think we can all agree 2016 has definitely had its bad moments, from the deaths of David Bowie, Gene Wilder and Alan Rickman to the most recent deaths of George Michael, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds; it's safe to say the world has lost some incredibly inspirational icons this year, to only name a few of them. Yes millions of people die each year, it's a part of life that is the most evil, but when icons such as these die, it effects not only those close to them but people across the world who have been inspired by, found escapism in, or have simply enjoyed the work of these individuals. My mum told me earlier that we've lost over 40 celebrities this year, and although only a few blew up on social media or were featured massively on the news, each one effected a different age demographic and a different audience. For me, the death of Alan Rickman was the one that impacted my emotions the most, I grew up watching him in films such as Harry Potter and Love Actually, so to hear about his death was for me, incredibly heartbreaking. Although the deaths of these well known icons effected the entire world, we all have our own personal goods and bad's to the year too. For me, I faced one of my biggest challenges yet. 
I knew moving out of home to go to university wouldn't be an easy change, however I didn't anticipate how much I would struggle in my first few weeks either. As September crept closer, and the closer I got to moving to Wolverhampton, the sense of dread I felt just kept building up. I remember staying overnight with Paige in my new room a week or so before I moved in permanently and I popped into my room, leaving Paige in the kitchen and I came back almost in tears (I'm not sure Paige realised at the time) and it was just the thought of being left alone in Wolverhampton, not knowing anyone or anything, that just made me want to break down and cry, and for my first week there, I did. I don't think I've very faced anything so difficult in my entire 19 years. I knew I'd get a bit homesick due to being such a family orientated person, but I think everyone, not just me, were shocked at the degree to which I struggled in my first few weeks at uni. To be honest, I'm not a great person for change anyway, when I moved from GCSE to A-level I hated the difference in classes and routine, but it was one I soon got use to. But this was completely different, I didn't have my usual friends around me, or the teachers I had known for 5 years already, instead I had 5 flatmates I didn't know, lecturers that I knew I'd never get to know directly and I wasn't going home to my parents and sisters every night. Of course everyone adjusts to change in the end, even if it doesn't seem like you will in the beginning. I hugely considered dropping out in my first week and when I found out it wasn't financially possible I got even more upset. However, I found my ways of coping. I only stay at uni 3 days a week and whilst I am there I always ensure I'm in company or on FaceTime. I makes being there more bearable and I've even come to enjoy my bit of independence for the time I am there for. My friends I've made make being there worthwhile, and although we've only known each other a few months it's weird the bond you get living and studying with complete strangers, and now I don't know what I'd do without them.
Even though the past few months were a huge struggle for me, there have been some upsides to 2016 too. Before moving to university I had an incredible gap year, although it was only planned for me to work throughout it I tried to take every opportunity I had to do something different or fun. In the summer, me, Paige and Meg ensured we had the most incredible time; trying to fit in whatever we could, whether it be a meal out together or a day trip to Weston-super-mare, we all made some amazing memories that have made us stronger as friends and have helped us build an even better friendship. Although the few bits and bobs we did doesn't sound like much you don't need a lot of money to make a lot of memories - we had fun going shopping, and to London for the weekend without spending hundreds of pounds. 
Another highlight of my year had to be my family holiday to Mousehole, its a small place in Cornwall which is just incredibly beautiful and peaceful. You can read about that in my previous blog post here. My 19th birthday was also one of my favourite things about 2016, my family and I visited Cotswold wildlife park where I got to see my favourite animals (giraffes) in the close up, as well as various other animals, I most of all enjoyed spending the day with the people I love the most. And most recently - Christmas - I didn't expect much of Christmas again this year due to working in retail and although I wasn't feeling much Christmas spirit, I really did have a magical time. Me and my family lazed around, opened presents, had Christmas dinner - but most importantly we spent time together. And seeing my extended family on boxing day - my aunts, uncles and cousins is my favourite thing about Christmas, it's all about spending time with the ones you love and appreciating everyone around you. 
Every year has its ups and downs and although this year has been tougher than most it's also had its huge ups. And everything's about balance, you have to have bad to weigh out the good and you have to have good to weigh out the bad. The most important thing to me this year (and every year) was spending time with my loved ones, without their support when I moved to uni and their continuous love now I don't know where I'd be. All my good memories involve my family and friends too - it's not all about what the cost is - it's about making fun and loving memories that'll last forever.
"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger"

Until Next Time, 
Alice x
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16/11/2016

Nathan Sykes - Unfinished Business

It's no secret I've been a fan of The Wanted since I was 13 years old, they were the one of the first bands me and my friends became a fan of and even though we became fans of other bands and artists along the way, nothing ever seemed to compare to them. (It's what we now call our 'fan girl phase'). Back in 2014 they announced their split (or 'break') and although we were all slightly heartbroken, we had all grown up since the early days, and we new there were only good things to come for them all individually. Fast forward 2 years and Nathan Sykes' first solo album has just been released. His first solo song More Than You'll Ever Know was released back in 2015 and soon followed was his first solo single Kiss Me QuickUnfinished Business features both of these songs as well as his other hit singles Over and Over Again, Give it Up and Famous; all of which have been hugely successful with his fans and already began to give him an identity before the album was even released.

Unfinished Business has been long awaited, however, it didn't disappoint. Nathan has chosen a Money, Freedom and Twist to slightly slower songs such as I Can't be Mad and Tears in the Rain. There are also songs I'd say are "feel good" songs and I think these are my favourite. There's Only One of You, starts off quite slow, however it slightly picks up at the chorus, and by this point you just want to join in with your own bad version of the song.
variety of songs to feature on his debut album, ranging from more upbeat songs such as

The variety of songs that feature on the album show the versatility of Nathan's voice; with the range of tones he uses with each different song, and the different paces that range from slow to upbeat, his capability is more than shown within the album. This diversity also portrays both the fun side of Nathan and his more serious side. His more emotional side is clear in the likes of Famous and I Can't be Mad, however as soon as songs such as Money come onto play you just want to jump and dance. One thing I love about this album is that one minute you can be wanting to dance along and shouting the lyrics, and the next you want to sit deep in thought and just listen to the meaningful lyrics that accompany Nathan's incredible voice.

Unfinished Business gives us more of an insight into who Nathan wants to be as a solo artist. This album gives him his own identity and individuality, separate from that of The Wanted and making him into his own artist. I may be slightly bias as a fan, but I can't find one thing wrong with this album. Although it's not to everyone's taste of music, you can't always please everyone and I think this album should be listened to with an open mind, I'd say the songs are a huge difference to those created by The Wanted and the more grown up tone of Nathan Sykes is a lot more matured and impressive.

Unfinished Business is now available from a range of retailers, click here to go directly to Nathan's online store.

"Where words fail, music speaks"

Until Next Time,

Alice x
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02/09/2016

My Holiday To Mousehole


As soon as we arrived in Mousehole (pronounced Maw-zole) we instantly new why it was called "Mousehole". The streets were only big enough to fit one car down (and even that was stretch sometimes) and on numerous occasions - specifically a couple of memorable encounters that immediately spring to mind (that both happened on the same patch of road) - where we met an oncoming car and we struggled (as did the other car) to manoeuvre around each other so we were just millimetres from the side of the houses that lined the road. A lot of reversing was involved, as was a (sort of) stare-down where us and the other car would just stare at each other - both drivers getting to the point where neither of them new where they could move next in order to let the other one through. On one occasion we got the point where we just had to pull into another tiny road (where lots of pedestrians walk) just to let the other cars through - this was particularly stressful as it meant none of the pedestrians could get through whilst we were stuck where we were - meaning we had a crowd of people in front of our car and a huge line of cars driving through behind the car and we were the centre piece to it all (insert rolling eyes emoji). We did eventually get back to the house we were staying in, but it's safe to say that wasn't the last road encounter we had (but it was definitely the worst). All the other occasions meant our quite large car had to get through quite tight spaces - and every single encounter was a very "hold your breath, don't panic and shut up" situation - the amount of times my mum said "Just let your dad concentrate" was countless. Saying that though - my dad did an amazing job - he handled each encounter very well and although sometimes it took him a few minutes, he always managed to figure out exactly where to manoeuvre or how to squeeze through a really small gap. We also got quite confused with the twisting and turning roads when we first arrived - but after a few days driving down the same lanes, I got to grips with our daily route and could easily direct my dad through the main town.

Although the roads could be a bit overwhelming at times - Mousehole is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. We stayed right by the sea, with our garden wall being the sea wall and all we had to do was look out to see the sea or look down and see the waves crashing up against the stoney beach. You had to go through a gate to access our property and you instantly came to a stony path - our house was on the right of the path and our garden was on the left - so all you had to do was cross this little path and you were literally right by the sea it was incredible. Our access to the beach was also amazingly close. You went out of the gate and instantly turned right and there were some (admittedly) uneven steps that took you straight down to the rocky beach. My mum was always stood at our garden wall watching me, my sister and dad down on the beach.

The harbour had a little beach area, which was surrounded with all the little village shops, galleries and cafe's, and was only a 2/3 minute walk along the seafront away from our property, which was perfectly ideal, for our evening walks and breakfasts out in the morning. Our evening walks around the town allowed us to explore all the little houses and cottages which were hidden in all the nooks and crannies of the village. The village was a maze of sorts, perfect for the whole "the cat catching the mouse" thing - so all the streets seemed to interlink, with them twisting and turning every time you walked a few metres, it was very easy to just wander aimlessly through the village and eventually end up somewhere we recognised. The harbour was also lined with colourful lights, which were beautifully placed, so when it got dark they reflected off of the calm water. We could see the lights from our garden, however that was from a distance, so seeing them close up every evening was so incredible. Waking up, and going to bed listening to the sea, and seeing the evening lights, are definitely what I miss most about Mousehole.

We had a completely jam packed holiday, seeing "The Man Engine" in St. Just and visiting Cape Cornwall on our first day (6th August) , we also dropped into a charity craft fair at one of the local schools - it doesn't sound much but it was one of the best craft fairs we'd been to in a long time. There were at least a couple of hundred stalls, placed in various places around the senior school and they were selling a complete range of things like light pulls and notepads to locally made hanging decorations, and jewellery - I managed to find a beautiful necklace that I absolutely adore and is one of my favourite purchases from my holiday.


On the second day (7th August), we went to Lands End, which was somewhere I was really keen to go. My Grampy and Gran went there back in 1976 and my parents had visited there previously too, so it made me really excited to visit the most Southern end of the UK. The first thing we did was have our picture taken by the iconic Lands End sign - which was the main reason we were visiting there anyway and the thing we were all really keen to do. We then went to read the Lands End Story; which was really interesting as we got to read about the people who had walked from Lands End to John o'Grotes (or vice versa) and how long the journey takes in various forms of travel. We weren't really interested in doing any of the paid activites such as the 4D cinema and Arthur's quest - they were mainly aimed at children anyway - but we decided to walk down to see the craft sheds, however we were quite disappointed with the two small shops that we discovered, luckily the views from where we were, were incredible, so they really made up for the disappointment, and walking back along the cliff edge with my dad really gave us spectacular views. We then went and visited Sennen Cove - whilst we're staying near the sea we always try to visit a range of beaches whenever we can so going for our first paddle of the holiday at Sennen Cove was a really nice way of spending our afternoon and evening.

The third day (8th August) was when my dad woke me up at 6am to see the sunrise, it was absolutely incredible, and I was so determined to see the sun come up from behind the sea before we left Mousehole so to actually have the opportunity to see an orange and yellow sunrise, made me so happy (I then went back to bed). We then visited the Seal Sanctuary and although it was really cute to see the rescue seals, it wasn't worth the £15 we would've paid if we hadn't of had vouchers. It was a lovely day out, the sanctuary just didn't actually have that many seals as lot's of them had been re-released back into the wild. We then went to Poldhu beach, however we didn't stay for very long as the waves were quite rough so there were lots of surfers about, and the sun had (typically) disappeared on us; but I love visiting new beaches and paddling in the sea so even though we were only there for a short amount of time I was overjoyed. After leaving Poldhu we drove back up the road to Mullion Meadows craft centre. We'd past it on our way to the beach and spotted the Trenance Chocolate Factory so new we needed to make a stop to look around. Although the other craft shops were cute, the highlight of the centre was definitely the chocolate shop, me and my sisters spent quite a while in there looking around and choosing our chocolate (it sounds sad but trust me - this chocolate was lush).

On the fourth day (9th August), we had booked tickets to the Minack Theatre to see the Hertfordshire Players perform Nicholas Nickleby Part 1 by Charles Dickens. As we were seeing an afternoon showing of the play, we went for breakfast at a local cafe, 'Hole Foods Deli and Cafe - which was absolutely delicious, before setting off to Porthcurno. The play was absolutely incredible, we'd heard nothing but good things about this outdoor theatre, and it totally lived up to all expectations. We had super sunny weather and the view of the sea behind the stage was beautiful, we'd never seen a show anything like it, so it was a really great thing to experience and if you ever get the chance to - I couldn't recommend enough that you visit the Minack theatre. My drama teacher had mentioned it to us many times throughout my time in his class, it's one of the most famous outdoor theatres in the UK, so to finally experience a show at one the many theatres he had mentioned, was so exciting.

The fifth day (10th August), was a day of relaxing and exploring the village, we went to some of the galleries and shops in the town (that we'd previously snooped at through the windows), and then we got a takeaway lunch from the 'Hole foods cafe and travelled to Lynfield Craft Centre in Perranuthnoe (as you can tell we're a very crafty family) which was only small, but it had a lot of variety, and loads of different items on sale. It was lovely to spend a day which was really relaxed and chilled where we didn't have to rush around to do anything or have any set in stone plans.



On our final day in Moushole we visited St. Michaels Mount. We took the boat across from Marazion and me, dad and my sister, Katie, bought tickets to walk up to the castle, whilst my mum and my other sister, Emma waited on the ground and browsed the few shops that were there. The views from the castle and the terraces were absolutely stunning, it was definitely worth the steep walk up to the top. It was also quite interesting to read about the history of the building and the family that live there now. A nice personal touch was that the visitors leaflet was written in 1st person, from the point of view of one of the family members that currently live in the house, he spoke about his experiences and memories of different rooms and artefacts, from when he was a child and from present time, and it made reading through the leaflet a lot more interesting than it would've been if it was a generic visitors guide. After coming down from the Mount we met up with the other Stephens' clan and went for lunch in the Michael's Mount restaurant before browsing the shops and waiting for the Causeway to open up so we could walk along the cobbled path to return to the mainland.  



After packing up the car, browsing a few more shops, and visiting 'Hole Foods one last time for Coffee and Cake, we left Mousehole was sad, but fond smiles on our faces. On our way home we stopped off at The Eden Project, where there are two biomes. These hold plants that are collected from a diverse range of climates and environments. We visited the Rainforest Biome first, the bigger of the two biomes and definitely the hotter one, at some points whilst walking through I thought I'd have to leave due to overheating, but I'm so glad it didn't come to that. It was incredible to see the different plants that we'd never normally be able to see in the UK due to our climate. and witness/understand how some of the unusual plants grow and develop. There were some incredibly beautiful plants, and some more unattractive ones too - but nevertheless they were all interesting to see. The only thing we were disappointed in was that me and my dad weren't able to do the canopy walk up in the tree tops. Although I was incredibly warm by this point it was still something I wanted to experience, unfortunately the temperature was rising and it got so high it was unsafe for anyone to be going up to the top of the Biome. This all happened as we got to the back of the line - and as the line was quite long, we didn't want to risk being the ones that couldn't cope with the humid temperature that was constantly rising. I felt worse for my dad - although I would've liked to do it, I had got so warm that I wasn't overly heartbroken that we weren't allowed to - but I could tell it was something he would've really liked to do and although he's good at brushing off that sort of thing, I felt really bad for him that we were so close to doing it but just missed the opportunity. Anyway, after leaving the Rainforest Biome we stopped for a toilet and ice cream break in order to cool down, and then we entered the Mediterranean Biome, which was a lot cooler than the previous biome but I also didn't find it as interesting - although there were still some really cool and different plants and sculptures in the biome, to me, it didn't have the "wow" factor that the rainforest biome had given me.

Overall, I had an incredible holiday. Cornwall is such a beautiful place and I can see why it's such a huge tourist attraction each year. I would return in the bat of an eye-lid if I could. If you're ever looking for somewhere to holiday, Mousehole is amazing - although it's a tiny village and can get busy in the day - it doesn't matter as the experience of staying there is still incredible and the quiet evenings are so peaceful, it's amazing.

"It's the memories you make and the people you're with that make the holiday special - the destination is just a plus"

Until Next Time,

Alice x

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15/08/2016

The Tooth Brush With A Cap

Me and my family have been using Oral B electronic toothbrushes for many years, so when I heard about an opportunity involving Sonic Chic, a travel electric toothbrush, I thought it would be a good chance to try a portable brush, that I can carry around with me to sleepovers, weekends away and holidays, something that's better quality than a regular toothbrush but isn't too big or bulky.

I received my Sonic Chic toothbrush a few weeks ago now, but in-between everything else I've only just gained the chance to try it out and review it. I wasn't really sure how to use the brush - even though the instructions tell you how to un-cap it and what to do after use - I was more confused with whether I was meant to let the brush sit on each tooth individually whilst it vibrated  (similar to what you do with an Oral B one) or whether you were meant to brush your teeth the regular way, like you do with a manual brush. But after testing both theories and the vibrations getting slightly out of hand when I cleaned my teeth the regular way - I eventually decided to just move the brush around slowly, so I was cleaning all teeth but the vibrations weren't uncomfortable on my teeth and the brush wasn't going into overdrive.

I found the brush ok - not as good as the more expensive Oral B one - but what can you expect from a portable toothbrush? My teeth felt clean after brushing - as they should do - and probably more so than when you clean with a manual brush.

It's not a toothbrush I'd want to use everyday as it's not the most comfortable experience, however as a holiday toothbrush - and having minimal use of it - I'd say the pricing of £20 in Boots, isn't too costly for the ok quality of the brush. However, if you're looking for an everyday electronic toothbrush I'd probably recommend a higher market product - as even though they're more expensive your teeth will probably get a better brush.

I love the pattern on the brush as well - there are various patterns you can choose from when you buy the brush, which I think is great as it makes the brush bright and exciting to use. Although I got sent this geometric pattern one by chance - I love the colours in it and it's a pattern I would've chosen myself if I'd had the chance. It's great that it comes in different styles - especially if children are going to be using it as it'll make them more excited to brush their teeth.

I'll definitely continue to use the Sonic Chic, travel toothbrush when I go to sleepovers or nights away as it'll save me carrying around my slightly bulkier normal electric toothbrush, and it'll give my teeth a better clean than I'd normally get with a manual toothbrush.

Have you checked out the Sonic Chic Electric Toothbrush? If so how did you get on with it?

"A healthy smile, is a beautiful smile"

Until Next Time,

Alice x


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