- Friday, 26 February 2016 -

Recipe: Panda Cookies

Hello my lovelies! Ever since Pancake Tuesday came and went, I seem to have been bitten by the baking bug as I find myself spending my spare time in the kitchen cooking up a storm and making a mess of the place. Having posted a few cake and cupcake tutorials in the past (see them here and here!) I wanted to try my hand at something new and decided to tread into uncharted territory and bake some biscuits! Not overly confidant on the whole biscuit making business, I decided to cheat a little bit and purchase some panda-shaped cookie cutters from eBay. Having already seen a few Miffy and Disney sugar cookie tutorials floating around on the Blogosphere, I thought it'd be fun to mix chocolate with vanilla and make something that's cute enough to eat!

You will need:

2 tablespoons of unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 and a half cups of all purpose flour
A pinch of salt
1 cup of unsalted butter, room temperature
Three quarter cup of granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1 and a half teaspoons of vanilla extract
Panda-shaped cookie cutters

1/ Cream together the butter and the sugar until fluffy

2/ Crack the egg open in a separate jug or cup and mix well. Once done, add in the egg and vanilla extract into the mixture and blend well

3/ Slowly pour in the salt and the flour, mixing until a light but thick consistency is achieved - don't worry if dough appears sticky, because we'll be adding pinches of flour later when using the cookie cutters!

4/ Cut the dough in half, mixing 2 tablespoons of the Cocoa Powder into one half and mixing well

5/ Cover both the light dough and the dark dough in plastic (separately) and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour

6/ Using a rolling pin, roll out your cookie dough on a lightly floured surface

7/ Using the cookie cutters provided, cut out the shapes and outlines of your pandas, using the dark cookie cutters for the dark parts of dough and the white cookie cutters for the light parts and layer the pieces on top of each other

8/ Preheat your over to 350°F / 180°C / Gas Mark 4

9/ Once assembled, bake your cookies for approximately 10 - 12 minutes, always keeping an eye on them so they don't burn - you want the white dough to stay light!

10/ Once baked, allow them to cool for up to 20 minutes, and enjoy!

- Tuesday, 23 February 2016 -

10 Reasons Why I Suck at Adulting

Hello my lovelies! Sometimes I honestly can't believe that I'm twenty-four years old. When I was twelve and my friends used to talk about their older brothers and sisters who were in their twenties I used to just sit there gobsmacked thinking that they're on their way with their jobs and starting families and finally getting their lives (and shit) together. You would think that growing up as an only child would have imbued me with some sort of independence or established a kind of maturity, but if anything I'm actually worse because I was coddled and cocooned from any real-life challenges. I mean, to this day I don't even arrange appointments by myself - dentist, doctor, hairdresser? Yeah, they're all orchestrated by my mum because I'm too scared to talk to them on the phone for fear of them asking me a question I don't know the answer to and responding instead with, "Errmmm... OKIDON'TKNOWTHANKYOUFORYOURTIMEBYE" 

1/ I sleep ALL the time, like I'm practically a newborn. I nap every day because I honestly feel like I need a reprieve from real life, and whilst we're on the subject of sleeping, I also consider getting up between 9-10am as early.

2/ There's a designated space in my room for stuff, I call it "the chair". After a long and hard day at work or at university, who honestly has the time or effort to put away their clothes properly? Well, the chair's the answer to your prayers, dear readers! It's also fun because you can play chair jenga on it too to see how much clothes it'll take to topple it over.

3/ When I have to call up my parents and ask for help with the smallest of tasks. True story, I once had to call my mum up in an emergency because I didn't know how to boil an egg for a lady I was making lunch for - who knew that poached and boiled are two completely different things!?

4/ I like to live my life vicariously through the use of GIFs because sometimes it's just too difficult to portray your feelings through words. Animal GIFs in particular give me life because what could be better than video evidence of a corgi attacking a cabbage?

5/ I'm not yet an adult because I simply don't act or speak like one. I have toys and plushes and games all strewn around my apartment and descend into a panicked frenzy if I can't find one of them. I also like to put on weird voices and quote movies because talking proper formal English is for losers.

6/ Why does there always seem to be too much month at the end of my money? Try hard as I might to organise my spendings and plan my budgets, I'm forever in a state of mind where I should "treat myself" - oh, I finally managed to get out of bed and dress myself *logs onto Asos to reward self*

7/ I'm legit counting down the days until I can have a massive mansion to keep all the animals I'm going to have because I'm genuinely more excited about my potential future pets than potential future kids.

8/ No matter where I travel to around the world, nowhere will ever compare to Disneyland. Oh, you're going for a nice, relaxed city break to Bruges? WELL I'M AWAY TO THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH, BITCH.

9/ Sometimes I have all these good intentions to go out and buy vegetables and fruit and a juicer but actually just end up getting a takeaway because cooking and preparing food (with the added effort of cleaning up the dishes when you're done) = nope.

10/ I like to put off paying bills for as long as possible because who doesn't want to live on the edge? Usually I also have no idea what anyone's talking about when they mention mortgage bonds or financial investments or pension schemes so I just like to curl up in a little ball and ignore it for as long as possible.

- Saturday, 20 February 2016 -

Long Time, No Blog

Hello my lovelies! It's been quite a while, hasn't it? Firstly, I want to apologise for appearing like I've fallen off the face of the earth for a few months, I've had to shift my priorities elsewhere as university began to swallow me up, but here I am - 2 projects and a 6,000 word dissertation later and I'm ready to pick up where I left off! You've NO idea how much I've missed blogging and all it entails: the community, the chats, that rush of adrenaline you get when you hit "publish" on a post... It killed me to put my work before something I loved so dearly, but sometimes I guess that's just life. I felt so negligent, leaving my poor little blog to gather cobwebs in the dark catacombs of the internet, but this time away didn't go wasted. Notice anything different?

That's right, Fine and Dandy's had a facelift! I suppose this is my late response to the whole "new year, new me" hype, but it was desperately needed as I grew tired of seeing the same layout I've had for over a year now; I wanted to inject a bit of life back into my blog and yearned for something that better reflected my personality (and let's be honest, fits a bit better with this whole pink theme I've got goin' on!). Being so busy at university, I couldn't possibly take on such a monumental challenge by myself, so I decided to reach out for some help, and found the amazingly talented (and fellow North-Eastie) Rebekah Dale. Together, we began to build a new and improved Fine and Dandy, one with a fresher image yet still stayed true to my "brand" I guess you could call it! I couldn't be happier with the way it all turned out and for the first time in a long time I'm feeling so positive about the future of this little blog.