How To Make Spring Themed Bark With Hobbycraft.

It's no secret that I am an avid baker, I enjoy to create just anything that involves chocolate, being creative and of course, tastes great. In case you hadn't already guessed, I am a huge fan of creating bark. Bark is essentially a ton of chocolate melted down, made into a slab and decorated. I've made a few variations in the past like my Halloween Bat Bark. This time, I decided to create something a little more colourful and fun.

For the bark, you are going to need: 
*A variety of chocolate or candy melts, for mine I used some of the Funcakes yellow candy melts and also some white chocolate that I dyed green.

*Buttercream or icing, I used the Sugar and Crumbs natural flavoured icing in raspberry ripple flavour (would recommend 110%) in which I made into buttercream by adding 250g of butter to the icing.

*Finally a variety of other toppings, I used edible glitter, smarties, cake angels sprinkles and even more edible glitter.

When making the bark itself you need to work fast as the chocolate dries so quickly, I'd recommend doing one colour at a time. I started by melting two large bars of white chocolate, you can do this in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water. When my chocolate was melted I grabbed some green dye, I love to use the Sugar Flair gel dyes which you can get on Amazon as they last for ages and you only need a drop to get a super bright colour. I then tipped the chocolate on to some parchment paper. When you've tipped the chocolate on the slab it will start to harden so you need to add sprinkles and other decorations quickly so they stick to the chocolate. Once you're happy with one colour, then you can melt your next colour and then apply this as you wish, I decided to do it around the edge. Next, I popped this in the fridge for an hour. 

Whilst this was in the fridge I made up some buttercream to put on top of the bark, the aim was to make it a little lighter than what it turned out but I went a little OTT with the blue dye. I whipped up the Raspberry Ripple icing with butter and then pipped it on to the bark, this gives the bark a variety of textures when you're eating it. Finally, this was topped with more sprinkles and tons of edible glitter. You may want to put this back in the fridge for the icing to set before breaking this. Once the bark is completely solid you can snap it into a variety of different shapes and sizes and then share it with your friends and family (or eat it yourself) and that's pretty much it for making spring-themed bark. I'd love to know in the comments if you've ever made bark.

*This post contains gifted items from Hobbycraft, however, as always thoughts are all my own.

Easter Brownies Eggplosion!

Baking is one of my favourite past times, I'm pretty sure it always has been. This is possibly due to allowing me to be as creative as possible within my work. Despite enjoying baking, the intricate flowers and models are not my friends. Although I can whip up a batch of chocolate brownies no problem. As it is almost Easter I went full out with an Easter theme for these. These brownies are thick, full of chocolatey goodness and then topped with crushed smartie egg. Oh and throughout, there is a variety of chocolate eggs too. The brownies take under an hour to make and they're so amazing. I decided to create a recipe card which will allow you to print this out to follow it step by step. I hope you enjoy my recipe and I'd love to see any pics you make of them. 

Introducing LoyalFree AD.

We reward our new customers for joining us, but a lot of companies forget to reward their loyal customers for coming back time and time again. This applies to car insurance, banks and online shopping. As regular users of a service, it would surely make sense to reward those customers for their loyalty? Well, that's what the companies on LoyalFree decided to do. If you're in one of their current areas you're in for a treat, with tons of discounts and freebies in the local area. The app costs nothing to download and you just need to go to those places you'd usually go but with the added extra of discount in your pocket (or should I say app?). It's been a long time in the making that students get discount on so many things but those who are no longer students or who have never been, do not get any of the generous discounts or fun experiences that comes along with being a student. Until now, since Loyal Free has popped up it gives us all a chance to enjoy what the app has to offer and the great discounts and hidden gems around our local town. 

So I hear you ask, what does the LoyalFree app offer? 
Well, the app offers a huge variety of different things, with things such as buy four coffees and your 5th is free, discounts on days out or things to enjoy such as beauty treatments, classes and gifts and a ton more to pick from. As well as offering you tons of free things, you can find out about experiences and events in your area which you may not of known without the app, cool right?

As someone who regularly looks for a discount code of some sort, for pretty much everything this app is super handy. With an easy to understand app which is quick and reliable 'everyone' can join in the fun. Speaking of fun, within the app you can go on trails based around themes and it will tell you a variety of places to visit on your trail to make the most out of the local area and also what you enjoy, there are trails based around dogs, vegan eats and even some cocktail ones. Sounds like a win to me. I am someone who has so many apps for different discounts but I feel like the loyal app covers it all under one roof with money off, collectable stamps and finding out about great offers around your town/city you're in for a real treat.

Well what are you waiting for? Go download the app now and get saving some money. 

*This post is sponsored by LoyalFree, however, all thoughts within my post are all mine and I genuinely back this app and wouldn't promote it if I didn't* 

5 easy ways to de-stress.

Stress is something we have to deal with in our lives from time to time, for some of us it can be more often than others. It is normal to feel stressed as a reaction, but being able to combat it is also important. For those who struggle with stress a lot, it may be worth seeking advice from your doctor or counselling to get to the route of the problem. But we all have bad days and sometimes we just need something to help us de-stress. As someone who stresses out a lot, sometimes at the smaller things in life, having ways for me to be able to de-stress from it all is super important. In the past my self help posts have been super popular (therefore I am hoping useful) so I thought I'd bring you a new post today with my top tips for de-stressing. Let me know in the comments what your top tip is to help you relax on a bad day.

1. Take a nap:
When I take a nap I instantly feel better once I come round a bit. Stressing can make you tired so when you allow yourself to take a nap you feel a lot better. According to Verywellmind the amount of time you nap for is crucial, as once you fall into a deep sleep it can be harder to wake up from, leaving you feeling worse (anyone else ever woken up after a nap and completely have no concept of time or date?) a nap between 15-30 minutes can help us feel refreshed and I always feel so much calmer after a nap. I prefer to take naps somewhere which isn't my bed as I always find it harder to come out of a nap. Some people take naps on the sofa, however, others prefer to take one outdoors on a Hammock which sounds like a dream, especially in the summer.

2.Turn off your phone:
My worst habit when I am stressed is looking at my phone, I feel unable to switch off when keeping my phone on, yet I am worried about missing something important so I won't turn it off #fomo probs. However the times in which I've turned it off and spent a few hours away from it, I do find my mood is so much better and I feel a lot less stressed.

3. Write down your thoughts:
Writing down your thoughts when you're feeling stressed is a great way to try get to the root of the problem as well as being able to vent. You get your own personal place to vent and you don't have to worry about sharing it with others. Paperchase has a large variety of life journals which have tons of different pages to write on. Carrying one around with you is also a great idea so you can look back on it and reflect.

4. Read a good book:
Never underestimate the power of a good book, allowing yourself some time just to zone out with a book of your choice can be a great thing to help you de-stress. You get to live out of your mind for a while and soak in the surrounds of the book. In the summer I love to read books outside as it makes me feel extra relaxed. You can also dig your teeth into a book in whilst sitting in a hanging hammock chair which allows you to get super comfy in and relax.

5. Have a relaxing bath:
This is one of my favourite ways to relax when I am stressed as it allows you to be alone for a while, you can light up some candles, get yourself a nice drink and pop a bath bomb in the bath and you're good to go. I love buying bath bombs from Lush as they're always super fun and you can tailor your mood to which bath bomb you pick. An alternative to bath bombs can adding some oils to the tub, like lavender for the ultimate relaxation session.

What are your top tips for de-stressing? 

*This is a collaborative post, however, it was fully created by me and all thoughts are my own as always. 

Shop my style JD Williams edition.

Summer is my favourite season of the year, who else relates? There's so much more light, warmer weather even if on occasion it gets *too* warm, people seem happier and us Brits get to spend the entirety of summer moaning about how hot it is and how we wish it was winter again. One of my favourite things to do when the weather is changing is to shop, being plus sized I do often struggle to get clothes in my local town as we don't have that many shops which do stock plus sized lines. So I do often head online for my clothes, on the plus side (excuse the pun) it does mean I am provided a huge amount of choice and there so many more retailers online.

I was recently contacted by JD Williams who asked me to create a wishlist sharing some of my favourite items and as a new customer of JD Williams I was thrilled to find out how much they stocked online. Whether you're looking for day dresses, a new t-shirt or even something to wear for a wedding they stock it all. You can see here some of the amazing clothing pieces they have on site. I decided to create four my top 3 items from a variety of their categories to give you an idea of what they sell. Even for somebody who loves to wear alternative clothes I was able to find some staple pieces to add to my summer wardrobe and still feel comfortable.

The site is super diverse I found and if you're on the look out for a new wardrobe this may be the place to start looking. With sizes up to size 38 from a size 8, this is a site that caters for everyone. Sadly, this should be something that more shops take note of and start stocking for a wider range of sizes. Let me know in the comments what your favourite item from my wishlist is.

*This post is in collaboration with JD Williams, all thoughts are my own and the site is seriously awesome for most sizes!