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Little Delights of the Internet no.2

31 Mar 2014

It's time that I told you all about some of my new online discoveries. Whether it's a great Pinterest member, an artist, a video, or just a bunch of interesting and enlightening articles, the following have all entertained and intrigued me, so I hope they'll interest others too!

Let us begin with some...

1. This guy is a new find this week, and his beautiful cover of a song which I originally associated with clubbing in 2013 has captured my heart. Congratulations Noah, you've just gained a new subscriber.

2. Brian has some serious talent. As an incredible impersonator, his flexible voice incorporates multiple Disney voices to create an entertaining, funny and enchanting rendition of Frozen's 'Let it Go'. Thank you, Brian Hull, thank you for being you.

3. Well this is just flawless. If you like soppy, 100% going to make you emotional videos then watch Jamie's wonderful performance of 'I can't make you love me' on The Voice UK. A well deserved standing ovation for some beautiful vocals.

1. For all your baking needs, inspiration and ideas, head on over to TheLittleKitchn, where there is a whole board dedicated to cookies. This is excellent, and makes me very happy. I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to Pinterest right now, but spending some time searching around can be very rewarding. It has inspired me to do some baking this week so watch this space for some new recipes!

2. I've also found the general Pinterest quotes section to be a great mood booster recently. You want some motivational words? Search for motivation. You want positivity? Search for positivity.

1. The Guardian's 8 Ways Digital is Empowering Women is a great example of online campaigns that have created a huge positive impact through digital power.

2. A student found a way to promote sustainability and reduce costs dramatically by changing the font used on printed documents from Times New Roman to Garamond. So simple. You can read the article here.

What are your new discoveries of the week? Have you found anything particularly interesting/entertaining lately? 
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Easy Peasy Cocoa Powder Brownies ft. Mini Eggs

22 Mar 2014
I usually refuse to make brownies without an actual bar of chocolate, but it's nearing the end of term, and I'm running out of money, so I decided to attempt some brownies with the ingredients that were already in my cupboard. I adapted this recipe from Inspired Taste, and also added a few mini eggs because it's Easter and I can't get enough of them! I was pleasantly surprised, and although they had more of a cakey texture and taste than usual, they were very tasty.

To make these, you will need:

150g butter
150g White sugar
100g Brown sugar
2 Eggs
75g flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 1/2 packs mini eggs

1. First, melt your butter, sugar and cocoa powder in a pan on a medium heat. Most do this is a bowl over a simmering pan of water to avoid burning, but I shamefully do it all straight in the pan. It always seems to be fine, but the recommended and safer way is in a bowl.

2. Remove the pan from the heat, and crack the eggs in individually, stirring after each.

3. Add a teaspoon of vanilla essence.

4. Fold in the flour. Excuse the cocoa powder in this picture, I found that it dissolves better if added at the beginning.

5. Once everything is completely mixed in, add the mini eggs, and taste the mixture to check whether there's enough chocolate!

6. Spoon the mixture into a greased baking tray, and place into the oven at 170 degrees for 25-35 minutes. Keep checking them!

Cut and enjoy. YUM YUM YUM.

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Exploring Covent Garden: Paul, Ladurée, and The Tea House

12 Mar 2014
I promised a part two to my short trip to London, and here it is...

I always say that I have a sweet tooth, because I seem to enjoy every kind of dessert possible, and crave Sticky Toffee Pudding pretty much every hour of the day. So when my Mum suggested popping into Paul and Ladurée for afternoon tea and some sweet treats, I was incredibly smiley. I must mention that we also unintentionally walked past this amazing tea shop called The Tea House in Covent Garden; never have I seen so many teas in my life! It was adorable, and definitely made me think about testing a few new flavours.

We ended up in Paul for our tea and cake, and I couldn't help but admire the beautiful array of goodies they had to offer!

If there's one dessert that I will always pick, apart from Sticky Toffee, then it's Crêpes. I adore them, and pancakes have been my favourite food since I was a child so when they're present on a menu, I can't resist. I picked 'Crêpe Poire Chocolat', aka pear and chocolate, and it was definitely a winner! It also made me incredibly excited to go to France next year and discover some of their best Patisseries and Boulangeries!

After a nice long catch up, we moved onto the famous Ladurée. It was interesting for me because I visited the Parisien shop back in October, and I must say that the London one was, although lovely, slightly less impressive in comparison. That's not to say it wasn't adorable, colourful, and enticing, but in my opinion Paris is unbeatable; and why wouldn't it be, it originated in France after all!

Oh how I wish I could've stayed in there longer and purchased one of the glittery ones!

 We bought this little box of Macarons for the family; it was £14 for 8, but just look how cute and colourful they are! I genuinely have no idea how anyone can dislike them! I went for a Raspberry, and Mum got a chocolate, vanilla, orange blossom, pistachio and praline. They were all absolutely, and predictably, delicious.

With a full stomach we headed back to Waterloo, and I managed to get this nice shot (as nice as a shot
from a compact camera can be) of the Thames. There's something so magical about being anywhere with water for me, so I made us stop for a long time to admire the view!

 Let me know what your favourite places are in Covent Garden or London in general, as I'm always looking for places to visit when I head down there!

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Little Delights of The Internet

10 Mar 2014
Trawling the internet in a desperate attempt to procrastinate isn't always a waste of time, and sometimes I find something that really, really sticks with me. It can be a hub of negativity, but it can also be a place to find inspiration, to find undiscovered creative work, and to find pictures, videos, articles which open our eyes to important issues that we never gave a thought to previously. I thought it might be nice to share my favourite discoveries of the week with everyone, and hopefully brighten someone else's. Who knows, if this goes well, I might make a weekly feature of it.

I used to be shamefully uninterested in galleries, that is, until I realised it depends which gallery I go to. It took me ages to realise that I just had to discover what kind of artwork interests me.

Walk with Dog

#1 Leonid Afremov
My friend introduced me to the art of the amazing Leonid Afremov last summer, and I am so, so glad that she did. If I could pick out a favourite, I'm not even sure if it would be this one, because they're all so wonderful and colourful. One of the things I most admire about him, is his ability to take a seemingly dull, rainy day, and use that weather to create a rainbow of colours. I'm terrible at describing artwork, but just take my word for it and have a look yourself!

Check out his Deviant Gallery HERE

#2 Jane Heinrichs
I found the wonderful Jane through Cider With Rosie, and I find her illustrations enchanting. It reminds me of the illustrations I used to have as a child in my room, so I guess part of the great appeal is the nostalgia I feel towards them. My only trouble is that I'm far away from having my own home, let alone a child or a nursery as an excuse to get one of the prints! However, I would say that ones like the girl in the hammock pictured above are not necessarily just for a Nursery. Jane lives in Cape Town, but splits her time between many different places, and as someone who has never ventured outside of Europe I am very, very jealous, so her blog on art, travel and more is also a great read!

Check out her blog HERE or here Etsy HERE

I'm a sucker for a moving, emotional story. I get very sentimental, very easily, and when I'm not bawling at a 'Soldier dad arrives home' youtube video, I'm finding an article to send me into a flood of tears. Sometimes, we just need to have a cry, but a happy cry; so here are my top two of the week:

#1 The Indian Sanitary Pad Revolutionary
This article popped up on my Facebook news feed a couple of times last week, and I'm happy it did because it is incredibly moving and truly opens your eyes to some of the problems that many of us are unaware of.

Take a look at the article on BBC News HERE

#2 A man gives a homeless guy a winning lottery ticket
This went viral last week, and what really moved me was the reaction and the fairness of the homeless man. I love videos and stories like this, because they hopefully encourage others to do more for the homeless, and for charity in general. As a student, I find it difficult to budget with charity in mind, and although I do donate, I certainly don't do it nearly as much as I would like to. After seeing the reaction of this guy, I feel compelled to do slightly more! I think I'll add that to my New Years Goals...

The power of social networks today is unbelievable, and I don't think we realise that until articles that could easily be hidden in the depths of an already packed website, go viral. I love reading about creative ideas, and people using their imagination to make something, and it really inspires me to do something myself.

#1 Two brothers recreate their childhood pictures
It is exactly what the title says, two brothers, with the help of their Dad and their dog, recreate childhood photos for their Mum. This article put a smile on my face because they're incredibly cute and funny.

#2 Creative Mum turns naptime into dreamy adventures
I actually came across this months ago, but found it again last week and it was so cool I just had to share it with you all. This mum thought of something new and imaginative, and good for her!

Wedding Dances
I couldn't write this article without including a wedding dance. There are millions on YouTube, and more are added daily, but this is the one I found this week that was so brilliant and cheerful, it brightened up my day.

I really hope you enjoyed this post; let me know if there are any videos, articles etc that you found moving, or that simply brightened your day this week!

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Exploring Covent Garden: Part One

9 Mar 2014
One 4 1/2 hour coach journey and £2.70 down, (this was genuinely the amount it cost to get from Leeds to London), and I was in London: the capital of England and one of my favourite places in the world. I don't get to spend as much time as I'd like to there, but when I do, I fall in love all over again with the place. Fortunately, I have a great excuse to visit this year, because my boyfriend lives pretty much in the very heart of it. My home is also not too far on the train from London, so I even managed to pester my mum into spending the day with me! We decided that it'd be a treat for me to wonder around one of my favourite areas of London: Covent Garden; and of course had my camera at the ready to take some photos!

Be warned: My day was centred around food, as I have come to realise are most of my days.

I was devastated when Disney stores began to close down across the country, so I was delighted to find one in Covent Garden. It did make me feel incredibly nostalgic about my trip to Disneyland Paris in October though!

Naturally, I was drawn to any window display with patisserie goods inside!

We ended up in Le Pain Quotidien for lunch; if you haven't heard of it, then it's a wonderful, quaint little French café. The menu looked amazing, and although I'm usually an order as much as you can, always desiring a full meal kind of girl, the selection of sandwiches on offer was too tempting to resist.

I instantly ordered the raspberry lemonade, whilst mum went for an apple and pear juice; both were incredibly yummy and tasted wonderfully fresh and homemade. I'm always drawn to the homemade options because they never fail to delight me, and even I found an anomaly then they would still be healthy, right? I then got stuck into a smoked chicken and mozzarella toasted 'tartine', whilst my mum enjoyed a goats cheese and beetroot tartine. They were both absolutely delicious, and filled us up until we were ready for some afternoon tea and cake. I also felt pretty healthy after my lunch, which doesn't happen often because I am always drawn to the sinful option, so that was a plus!

Both of us being chatterboxes, we had a lot to talk about; and so we finished off our lunch with a cup of tea. I tried the Masala Chai which was all the more tasty because it was served in such a cute little teapot!

And so part 1 of my trip to London draws to a close. I feel like I didn't even manage to get much done, but it was just so lovely to see my mum and my boyfriend after some time apart. Part 2 will be shorter, featuring another café, some walking, and a certain famous patisserie with very colourful treats...

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