Hot Topic: The Women of NXT!

The only wrestling I really watch these days is anything and everything of old that my husband puts on, on the WWE Network. I'm a big fan of the old days, I love Macho Man, Hulk Hogan, Bruno Sammartino and can sit for hours watching The Rockers and Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard work their Tag Team magic. I don't really pay attention to Raw and Smackdown anymore and only really watch something if my husband thinks it's worth watching, like if a match from Raw was especially good. I do however like NXT, but have only seen bits here and there, enough to know that I adore the girls that are currently kicking ass there, but not to where it is a top priority for me to watch every episode.

Can not wait for this match! (Picture taken from google)

A few weeks back everyone had been talking about Sasha Banks VS Bayley from NXT Takeover, I kept hearing so many great things, and of course my husband had said that I would love the match they had, but I just hadn't made the time to sit and watch it. Well last Tuesday, my husband made food and I got all cuddled up on the couch as he put on the match for me to finally see. Now just as a side note, when I watch wrestling I tend to talk, pick it apart, think about the storyline, how someone is selling, my brain is constantly thinking 'ooh but if they did it like this' 'why did they do that there' 'why isn't he selling' 'Ooh that was cool' 'I love that gear' etc. When I'm watching the likes of Macho Man, it's usually more squealing, on the edge of my seat 'arrgh how is he so awesome?' 'that was amazing' 'wow I have goose bumps.' When I watch myself back, i'm terrible, my worst critic, I stand up, act stuff out and over think a million things. So yes, when I watch wrestling more often than not I like to comment and talk, get excited or ask questions, I just can't help it. I'm not sure how long Sasha Banks VS Bayley actually was, but I will tell you that I didn't make a peep, I just sat and watched, I had goose bumps and at the end of the match when Bayley cried, I cried. I legit cried. That might sound odd to some, I even shocked myself a little bit, but all of a sudden I just felt so many emotions. I was speechless, I couldn't fault anything (not that I wanted to or was trying to) but there was just nothing to say. I was left in awe. I loved it, like honest to goodness loved every second of it. The way the girls moved, sold, acted, wrestled, told a story, it was just incredibly awesome in every way. And I have to say that I think part of the emotion came from the fact that these are girls like me who dreamed of being wrestlers from a young age, who have always been the underdog and just wanted to wrestle. In that ring they looked like the most awesome, kick ass wrestlers I have seen in a long time. They drew me in and I wanted to be them.


Bayley! She's my absolute favourite ever!! :)
Picture from google images!

I have always been drawn to the guys in wrestling, as I mentioned the greats above, I have always idolized guys and wanted to emulate them. I know as women we naturally move differently and I would often find myself not really enjoying women's wrestling very much because of certain aspects like this. In addition to growing up as the era of models becoming wrestlers was taking over and them not really knowing how to actually wrestle just put me off, so I focused on the people who were passionate, who were the best of the best and studied them. Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Mr Perfect. When coming to OVW, we got more into studying tapes and the guys would have us learn our history. Of course the likes of Alundra Blaze and Sherry Martel came into play and we learnt from everyone. Guys and girls. My brain accepted those women and ignored the 'divas'. If you had passion, dedication and truly loved what you did, it shone through. It wasn't about wrestling like a guy, it was about wrestling like a wrestler. Enter Serena Deeb, Mickie James and Beth Phoenix, all women who I love to watch. Over the years I have had my fair share of annoyance through 'women's' wrestling, both as a fan and as a wrestler. I hated that models were put above girls who were born to do this and had the passion running through their veins. As a wrestler I despised being constantly told to be more sexy, to act my age, to look a certain way and wrestle like a girl, hair pulling, cat fight etc. Though I will say I was lucky enough to train with Rip Rogers and Jim Cornette and the boys in my class who treated every one the same. Meeting girls too would always be tricky as the way in which 'women' wrestlers were perceived wasn't always wrong. I met the girls not there for the right reasons, the girls who thought it was easy if they looked good and had boobs, the girls that wanted to be wrestlers ever since Total Diva's aired. On the other hand I would meet the girls who thought to wrestle like a guy meant beating the crap out of each other and forgetting the actual art form of what Mr Perfect did. The world of 'women's' wrestling could all be very confusing for me. Most of the time I felt more comfortable training with the guys because I like the way they moved and wrestled, I felt at home and like I could do my best and we would always get so excited talking about wrestling with each other. It really is magic when you lock up with someone and everything gels and you feel like you click or when you meet people and can talk for hours about ideas and all things wrestling. For the girls and guys I did have that with, I am so grateful and I still get giddy over it! Side note: I wish I had wrestled Mickie James later on in my Rip training as she is truly awesome and I love her style. She is someone I felt very at home with. At the time (when we wrestled her) I don't feel my movements were the best. If I could wrestle her a million times over to learn from her I would. Alas I am going off on a tangent. :p Mickie James equals a women that broke the boundaries for who I looked up to and wanted to watch.


Sasha Banks!! Incredible! :)
Picture from google images!

When I watch the women of NXT I can't help but smile so big. I know I am not behind the scenes, I know that parts of it must be crazy backstage, it is probably competitive and people will clash and butt heads, but watching Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch and Charlotte in the ring after that match, i was just like 'WOW, what an awesome group of girls.' Furthermore, the match that Sasha Banks and Bayley put on, to me, was a testament to working your butt off, having a genuine passion for wrestling, trusting and caring about each other and WORKING TOGETHER and it showed!! I absolutely can not wait to watch their 30 minute Iron Man Match October 7th and though I don't know them personally I can't help but feel this sense of pride in what they have accomplished and what they are accomplishing. I just want to jump up and down and shake them and say 'seriously, you guys are insane, you are awesome.' I don't think I have idolized a wrestler from recent years as much as I idolize Bayley, Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch. They inspire me every time I see them. They seem like they would be dreams to work with and to learn from. If I could be half the wrestlers they are one day I would be beyond happy. They have definitely given me the wrestling bug all over again! :) I think I will be glued to NXT from now on and be catching up with Raw a little bit more just to watch all these women in action. They truly are phenomenal and I look forward to seeing what they have in store for us next.

Have an awesome day!
Love Lucy xx

Makeup Monday: A few must have items!

I have actually been really good as of late, in that I have been making sure to use all the makeup in my collection. While my collection is quite small, for me it's enough were I say to myself "Ok Lucy, you have to be using all these products before you buy anymore." I admit that I am a sucker for cute packaging and pretty things, so some of the products I can just look at and think "well it's so beautiful that staring at it can justify buying it." Just me?! :p I always find it fun though when I go through my blushes and wear a different one on the weekend, or know which one will go perfect with my outfit, I feel that my collection is just enough that I can get through wearing all my blushes if I wore a different one each day of the week. The same can be said for my lipsticks, as I think Lipsticks and Blush are what I have most off. I haven't really seen anything that has caught my eye too much over the past few weeks and with all the holiday collections and new products coming out just in time for Christmas I thought I would just wait and see what grabs my attention. In the meantime though, I have been huge into skincare. I was having a few days where I just didn't like the way my foundation sat on my face and I could see signs of getting older and I thought it was time for a little change and for me to really focus on my routines. I was inspired by Victoria over on InTheFrow.com and her recent skincare routine, she mentioned washing your face and thinking that will suffice and how you will still find makeup on your towel and I could 100% relate. I do that all the time, but no more. Here are some of my favourite purchases from the past few weeks and why I love them! :) 



This, Victoria mentioned in the aforementioned skincare post and I knew I had to try it. Not only did she rave about it but there were tons of comments where people said how awesome it was. So I made a visit to Target and picked some up right away. I haven't used a toner in years and I always remember our makeup artist Abi recommending one, but I simply got out of the habit of using it as I felt it made my skin feel dry. I was super excited to use this one though, as honestly I just wanted to really feel like I was giving my skin a good clean. It smells delightful, lovely and fresh, I presume thanks to the Aloe Vera and Ginseng that it has in it. This Glow Tonic claims to "even out skintone for a brighter and clearer complexion" through exfoliating and removing dead skin cells. I have to say that I love it. Truly love it. My skin feels so incredibly soft these days and I feel like it has blurred lines and made my face look smoother. I use it every morning and night and adore how my face feels more awake and even looks more awake after I have applied it. I have been using it for about two weeks now and am going to be making sure to stick with this routine. :)




I had been wanting to purchase some Morphe brushes for the longest time after hearing so many of my favourite YouTubers rave about them, but I spent a little time researching different brushes first, as I didn't want to spend a lot, as brushes can be quite expensive and I wanted to make sure that they would be worth it, with shipping and all that. What made me bite the bullet was that I have been using my Sigma F80 for over a year now and I was starting to feel like I needed another brush for when I didn't get chance to clean that one. I try and clean it often but sometimes I would get to two weeks and be using it thinking "ewww" :p I just needed the basics, a foundation brush, concealer brush and a bronzer/blush brush, so thanks to Jaclyn Hill and Amanda Ensing, I went with the G2, M349 and B6. My goodness, I don't know why I waited so long. These brushes are awesome. I adore the M349 for foundation, it is so soft and dense that it makes applying my foundation so easy and simple, it doesn't drag at all and it feels like a little of my foundation goes a long way, it has such great coverage. The same goes for the G2, it is so light and fluffy and soft and perfect for concealer. My Sigma F86 was starting to feel really hard to blend with, like I was tugging at my under eye area, so this one was a very welcome and much needed change. I  look forward to putting my makeup on each morning now because I get to use these brushes! :) I would highly recommend them.



I mentioned these in our 'Girly Night In' post as Kelly and I had been experimenting with some masks during our girly weekend, after getting some samples from Sephora. My friend Kaelin had recommended these for improving texture. I'm not usually the optimist when it comes to skincare and products that say they will get rid of fine lines or make scars disappear and such, I don't know why but I seem to struggle to believe in things like that. I also believe in growing old gracefully and allowing your body/skin to be natural. However, I had really started to notice the wrinkles on my forehead, coming to the conclusion that it was because of all the facial expressions I make. I was starting to become very self conscious at work, as of course I am always making faces and being very expressive around my babies and I admit it got me down applying foundation because I dislike it when it settles into creases. Well, with no high hopes I tried the sample of this two step peel and was actually stunned. Instantly my skin looked brighter, smoother and clearer and I am certain that the lines on my forehead were not as prominent. Kelly even commented when she saw me the next morning saying that my skin looked really good. So I went back to Sephora and picked up the little pack. You get five treatments for $16. The downside to this product for me is that it is very expensive, for 30 treatments it will cost you $88. For now though, I have been using the peel each Sunday. I have 4 more to go and am looking forward to seeing if the results continue to be this amazing. Maybe it's all the little things I have been changing about my routine, with the clean brushes and toner and making sure to drink more water each day, but I am really happy with these purchases and feel much more confident in my skin these days! :)


Hope you have an awesome Monday and let me know if you have any skincare products/makeup products that you absolutely love!! :)

Love Lucy xx

A girly night in! :)

Kelly and I see each other every single day, we work together, live next door to each other and like to spend time together. Rarely a day goes by where we don't talk or catch each other at least for a few seconds. You'd think by now, after 27 years joined at the hip, that we could go a few days without one another or that we might possibly have run out of things to say to each other. But alas, and I'm sure to the disappointment of our husbands, we always have something to talk about and we are always, always talking. :p We are huge chatterboxes and thanks to the nature of our Mother, we can pretty much talk to everyone and anyone, we weren't always this way, we used to be very shy. Nowadays though, we love being bouncy and happy and can strike up conversation with anyone just like that. And when it comes to each other, forget about it...we can quite literally talk till the cows come home.

Two weekends ago we enjoyed separate adventures and spent quality time with our husbands, so you can bet we were ready for our girlie weekend and catch up, because goodness knows after spending 2 and a half days apart we were in need of a good natter! :p

In honor of last weekends girly weekend we thought it would be fun to do a Top 5 list of things to do when it's just the girls! :) Shall we begin?...


One: Bake together!

We love nothing more than sitting with a cup of coffee or tea, or wine depending on the evening, and having a good chat. What goes well with all three of those drinks?...A delicious snack to munch on of course. Now you could always pick something up from the store but as Kelly and I love to bake it's something we find relaxing and really enjoy doing together. Why not try getting your girlfriends to help you make the nights treat? It feels incredibly rewarding when you are tucking into something homemade and it can even be a little bit healthier due to knowing exactly what you put in it! :) Here is a little recipe for the banana bread that we made. It was out of this world delicious and made the evening that little bit more cozy.
Ingredients:
3 ripe banana's mashed
3/4 cup of butter
1 1/2 cups of sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 tablespoon of milk
2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 to 1 cup of chocolate chips, depending on how chocolatey you want it! :)

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees
Combine the sugar and butter in a large bowl. (I used my Kitchen aid mixer)
Add eggs and blend.
Add milk and bananas and mix for about a minute.
Add the flour and baking soda and mix until combined.
Stir in the Chocolate chips!

Butter your loaf pans so the cake doesn't stick and pour batter in to the two pans evenly .
Bake for 45 mins or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean! :)


Two: Pamper yourselves!

Kelly and I don't often sit and do our nails or put on face masks, we always feel like we have to be doing something and that it just takes up time. However, lately we have really been understanding the importance of taking a step back and relaxing. Waking up at 5am definitely takes a toll on your skin and not taking the time to breathe and pause every now and again just aids in getting you stressed and wearing you out. Admittedly when the boys are away, it's a little easier to not feel like you have someone else to think about all the time, so Keg and I have been working on trying different masks and taking care of ourselves a little more. Plus, I always love when Keg will walk around Sephora with me and let me take my time ogling at all the pretty things! :p Through our friend Kaelin who works at Sephora, we got a sample of this Dr Dennis Gross peel and oh my goodness, stay tuned to the blog, there will be more on it soon! :)


Three: Light candles!

Similar to those reasons above, I feel candles help to create a relaxing and chilled out atmosphere. I have quite the collection and love sitting where I can see the flames flicker, it gives me a sense of comfort and calming. So if you want to create a bit of a peaceful paradise while enjoying a class of wine with your girlfriends, try lighting some candles, even tea lights make for the simplest, cutest décor.


 Four: Watch fun movies!

My husband and I do not share the same taste in cinema...in the slightest. He is always trying to get me to watch "classic" movies, movies that are amazingly cinematic and artistic that he feeds off and loves. Those movies however always tend to have some sort of violence, blood, gangsters or scary element to them that I'm sorry, but I just can't do. I really do try and have seen such films like "The Crow" and "The Godfather", albeit from behind a pillow or while staying very distracted partaking in a craft, but they are simply not for me. When Kelly, Jen and I get together we usually reach for the favourites, "What's your Number?" having been at the top of the list for the past few years. Talk about a classic! ;p Girly nights are a perfect time to sit back and watch the movies that your other half might not quite understand. I will give my Chris credit though, he has seen 5 of the 6 movies pictured above...I'm still working on getting him to watch "The Longest Ride"...Scott Eastwood...swoon!



Five: Be Creative and Craft!

Whether it be creating a book club, scrapbooking club or using your imagination to make a floral arrangement, chocolates or your very own home décor, we always feel inspired by each other. Why not get together and share ideas. Go out and buy what you need and spend the evening being creative. We guarantee you will enjoy yourself, feel relaxed and have a sense of such accomplishment when you are done. I felt so proud of my little craft above, and all I did was pour some candy corn into an empty candle glass and sit a little tea light on top!! But look how cute it is! :)

I hope you enjoy these ideas for a girlie night in! Let us know what you like doing when it's just the girls, do you partake in some of the activities above? What's your favourite girlie movie? And guys, if you're reading this post, feel free to comment on what your idea of a fun night in with the boys would be! :)

Happy Friday, wishing you an awesome weekend! :)

Love Lucy xx



Guest Post from Personal Trainer Chris Knott!

Achieving balance: How to be strong, healthy and happy.


Before I begin, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Chris and I am the younger brother of Lucy and Kelly. Legend has it that I was the one who got them in to wrestling. Whether this is true or not I don't really know. All I remember is watching the golden age of wrestling when Kane still wore a mask, Triple H had hair and everyone was wondering why the f*** Rikishi ran over Stone Cold. With TV that good who can blame them for wanting to watch it with me. 

I've never been the type of person who'd succumb to the shackles of a desk job. By my late teens my mind was made up that my future lay in fitness. After a brief stint in further education, I took the plunge and got certified as a Personal Trainer. This has been my vocation for the past 6 years and according to my calculations I reckon I've done consultations with at least a couple hundred people. 
So what's the recurring theme for the average gym goer? Pretty simple, they wanna look good naked. You can lie and try and trick me saying you want to be more "toned" or "fit" or "have more energy", but what it really boils down to just feeling better in yourself. It's about confidence, self-belief and feeling good. Despite what some might say, there is nothing superficial in wanting to improve your body. After all, getting leaner and stronger is good for your health. If a person wants to condemn you for wanting to be healthier, then that person is a dick.

What's my aim? For you to take some useful bits of information from this blog that will immediately help you and those you love lead a healthier, fitter, stronger life.

Firstly let's address the common questions I get asked over and over. 

Do I have to avoid carbs to get lean? 

No

Do I have to do hours of cardio to lose fat?

Once again, no.

Do I have to give up everything I hold sweet and dear to me and never embrace the sugary delight of a cupcake ever again?

Hell no.

You see people, the key to long lasting health is having a solid baseline. Your house is building on concrete, this solid foundation allows you to build from the ground up. No matter what you do to your house to make it better, it'll only ever be as strong as it's foundation.

Now, your foundation of health should be the following things:

Drink water (2 litres a day)
Eat green vegetables (at every meal)
Eat Protein (eggs yolks and all)

Heard that before? OK well let me explain why it's important. 

Our body needs water to function, when we become dehydrated, our body starts to become hormonally stressed. This causes strain on the rest of our functions. Dehydration over long periods of time chronically stresses the body out. When your body is stressed, you don't lose fat.

Your gut is your body's way of getting crap out of your body. No, not like that, I'm talking toxins that are all around us. Without being able to get these toxins out the body, they recirculate the blood stream and then get stored in fat. This causes the fat to become more solid and harder to move. Green vegetables (or more specifically fibre) acts like a brush, cleaning out the crap from your gut. They also contain lots of mineral and vitamins that will make your feel better. Moral of the story, eat your vegetables!

Now, if you were playing with a 4 year old and told them to build you a lego house, but they didn't have any lego, they'd be pretty confused right? Well this is what your doing to your body when you try to lose fat but don't eat protein. Without enough decent protein, your body can't build or reserve muscle. You end up getting weak and soft. If you want to look good, you should have a good baseline of protein.

But Chris, it's easy for you, you don't have kids to look after, or work in an office filled with cakes and sweets, and you work in a gym all the time. Yeah, yeah whatever. This is where people go horrendously wrong. Everyone seems geared towards extreme behaviour. "I'm on this new diet of water, protein and vegetables and so can't touch sugar, dairy or gluten". Don't get me wrong, these things aren't great for you, but you're much more likely to be successful in the long run if you build a healthy relationship towards your diet.

Tell a 6 year old not to put their tongue out and what do they do? Put their tongue out. Tell an adult not to eating sugar and just eat broccoli, what do they do? Go and devour and entire cake. I've seen this many a time, people always want what they can't have. 

There is no point in starting a diet unless you intend on eating that way for the rest of your life. Short term fixes lead to long term problems. Your main priority should be on keeping your body health and happy by watering it and giving it daily doses of veg and protein. If on occasion, you enjoy a dessert, then that's great. Savour it, enjoy it and be thankful you can experience such delights. All you then need to do is move a bit more the next day. If you feel you're getting a bit too much junk in your trunk, take the desserts out for a week and increase your water intake. 

People seem to think dieting should be about deprivation. About seeing how much you can abstain from food without giving in. I whole heartedly disagree. I feel that dieting is about creating an awesome relationship with food, having a tasty, exciting diet and using clever manipulations to build a strong and badass body.

It's about realistic expectations that lead to exceptional results.

Thank you for having me

Chris

Follow me on Twitter @ChrisKnottPT
Instagram: chrisknottpt
My website: www.ChrisKnottPT.com

The New British invasion: Ed Sheeran!

A few weeks ago, ourselves and our husbands were chatting in the car about who we would love to go and see in concert. One person we all agreed on was Ed Sheeran. We all thought that he would be a pretty cool person to see live. Well, it just so happened that we found out he was touring not to far away from us this month. We got home and after little deliberation over whether it would be better to travel a couple of hours away on a Thursday or Sunday, we all settled on Thursday 17th Sept, 2 hours away from us, in Cincinnati.

Once home from work, the four of us quickly changed, packed a few snacks and jumped in the car. We were all pumped and excited as well as feeling slightly rebellious for going out on a school night ( what can we say, we like our sleep) Our trip was going great, we were listening to music, chatting away, stopped at Cincinnati's original Skyline Chili for a quick bite to eat and couldn't wait to get to the Riverbend Music Center. Alas, just when we thought we were making great time, that was when we got stuck in traffic, we tried to stay positive but it generally got to the point where we thought we were going to miss the whole show. Lucy's Chris was so frustrated and couldn't understand where the traffic was coming from. We explained that it was probably for the show, to which he replied, "the whole city can not be at a stand still for Ed Sheeran".....oh sweet naive Christopher!!

The closer we got to the arena the more Chris was eating his words, the place was PACKED, as in they had cops directing traffic and had, had to open a whole other car park and still they were running out of space. By this point, 8:30 we had missed the opening act (Christina Perri) but were lucky enough to find a parking spot as people were still queuing up to come in. We finally got through the gates, all paid a visit to the restrooms, just as Ed Sheeran walked out on stage! We made a mad dash to the lawn and were fortunate to find a nice little spot on the grass, albeit the hill bit of the lawn but we could see the stage and Ed Sheeran and hear him perfect and that was all that mattered.

Our view!

All sat on the little hill!

It is so difficult to explain just how amazing Ed Sheeran actually is, we feel like the word talented doesn't even cut it. He was absolutely phenomenal!! He was charismatic, entertaining and just amazing to sit and listen to. We knew he was someone that you had to see live and we weren't wrong. The crowd was into absolutely everything and it was lovely to witness. We have to admit being British too, we sat there with a huge sense of pride at watching a fellow Brit kick so much ass! Looking at all the people who had come to see this one person, we were like "Yep this is the new British Invasion right here" :) At one point towards the end as people started to leave to miss the traffic, we scooted further up the hill and were amazed at the sight of way more people than we originally thought were there. It was insane, so much so that when Ed told everyone to get their phones out, it looked magical, like a scene from the Quidditch world cup. 

The Sea of lights!

All in all it was an incredible evening, one that even getting home at 1 am to wake up at 5 am couldn't dampen. If you get the chance to go to an Ed Sheeran show or see him live, don't pass it up, we highly recommend you go! If you've already seen him, let us know where you saw him
and your thoughts, we'd love to hear them! :)

Sneaking a closer peak at the stage area!

What an amazing evening!

Have a great Monday!
Lucy and Kelly
xx


Life Is Sweet: British Baking Battle!


Hope you are all having a lovely weekend! :) We had a blast filming another episode of our YouTube show "Life Is Sweet" yesterday and with it being a baking battle we thought we would pop over to our blog and share the recipes with you.

We have thoroughly been enjoying working on "Life is Sweet" and always love getting feedback from you as to what you want to see. We have had a lot of requests for more baking and wrestling and we have been taking notes, our creative juices have been flowing, so much so, that we can't wait to get filming each week. We hope you have been enjoying the show too, feel free to comment and let us know if you have any ideas too and we will see what we can do. In the meantime, we hope you laugh as much as we did during this British Baking Battle and we hope you give the cupcakes a try...despite our delightful and highly entertaining panel of judges, both cupcakes turned out incredibly delicious and it felt wonderful to be back in the kitchen thinking outside the box and whipping up our beloved cupcakes! :)

Cupcake Number 1: Kelly's cupcake: Vanilla Cheescake with a Chocolate Digestive base 
                                                             and an Aero  topping!


Ingredients:
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1/2 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 tsp Vanilla
4 packets of mini chocolate digestives
3 tbsp butter
4 single Aero bars.

Makes 6!

What to do:
Empty the mini chocolate digestives into a small sandwich bag and smash them up, you can use your hands or a food processor.
Melt butter in a pan and add your biscuit crumbs. Mix till combined.
Put 6 cupcakes cases in a cupcake pan then spoon a little bit of your Digestive biscuit base into the bottom and press down so it's all nice and flat.
Put in the fridge to set. I left them in till my cheesecake mixture was ready. About 20 mins!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a handheld mixer or kitchen aid mixer beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until nice and smooth.
Add the egg and beat well.
Remove your bases from the fridge and scoop a good amount of your cheesecake mixture on top of each one.
Bake for 20 mins.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Once cooled you melt your Aero bars and drizzle or spread on top! 
Allow to set. 
Keep these cupcakes in the fridge as they are cheesecake! :)


Cupcake Number 2: Lucy's cupcake: An Almond cake, with a Battenberg piece center, 
                                                            Vanilla buttercream and a Battenberg piece to garnish!

Inspired by and using Mr Kipling's Mini Battenbergs! :)


Ingredients.
1 ½ cups of cake flour
1 ¾ teaspoons of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 stick of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons of almond essence
¾ cup of whole milk
1 Packet of mini Mr Kipling Battenergs.

What to do:
Collect all ingredients together and make sure to let the milk, butter and eggs get to room temperature before you begin…que mini dance party.
Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees and turn up that music. Line baking tray with cupcakes.
Mix together the flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.
Pour the milk into a measuring jug or glass and mix with the almond essence and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar in mixer together until light and fluffy.
Turn mixer to a lower speed and add eggs one at a time and let mix till incorporated.
Begin to add one third of the dry mixture followed by one third of milk mixture. Repeat until both mixtures have been added, ending with the wet.
Dance and sing to your heart’s content.
Using a medium size ice cream scoop, scoop a little of the cake batter into the cake cases, then place a slice of Battenberg in the center of each cupcake. Scoop a little more of the batter over the top, till the cases are 2/3 full.
Gently bang tray on counter to even out the cupcakes and relieve any air bubbles.

Place tray in oven and leave the cakes to cook for 15-18 mins. Continue dance party. The cakes are done when they are firm and springy to the touch or a spaghetti strand comes out clean! J Leave on a wire rack to cool.

The Frosting:

1 stick of butter
Confectioner's sugar
vanilla essence
sprinkles
Battenberg slices
1 Tablespoon of milk

What to do:
When it comes to frosting I tend to go with the flow. I add my stick of butter and with 1 cup of confectioners sugar I start to mix it together. I then add cups of confectioners sugar to suit the taste and consistency that I like. For this recipe I added vanilla essence and a drop of milk and probably around 2-3 cups of confectioners sugar and it came out very smooth and kind of like a marshmallow frosting, it was scrumptious. Have fun with frosting, you can always add more butter or more sugar if need be! :) 

You can watch the full episode of our "British Baking Battle" here: https://youtu.be/OC0BIMTPdv0

Let us know which cupcake you would have chosen as your winner or if you decide to whip some up of your own! :)

Have a beautiful day!

Love Lucy and Kelly xx

Foodie Friday: Fall Apple Crumble!

I was so excited to get baking this week, after picking up some fresh apples last weekend in Virginia. It was a lot of fun being in the kitchen with my mother in law and Meme, as we filled the lodge with the sweet smell of cinnamon and sugar, after an afternoon of apple picking, that I couldn't wait to get back to Kentucky with my own apples and a recipe in mind to share with you. It's simple but so delicious and I absolutely love the smell that fills the apartment through making it! :)


So without further ado, here is a simple and easy recipe for a scrumptious, very seasonal, fall Apple Crumble! ooh I will mention that this recipe makes a lot of crumble, quite simply because we think that's the best bit. If you only prefer a little bit of crumble, you can half the recipe! :)

Ingredients-

For the Crumble:
2 cups Flour
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of caster sugar
2 sticks of butter
As much cinnamon as your heart desires.

For the apple base:

I had a variety of apples all shapes and sizes but if you are doing the 2 cup crumble I would say use about 5-6 big apples. For the 1 cup recipe, use about 3-4 big apples. If this is too many and  you have any left over, have a little snack!
1 tbsp of Butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar (or caster sugar is fine)
Cinnamon to your taste. Add as much or as little as you like.

What to do:

Wash and chop your apples into slices or cubes
Put them in a bowl and mix with the sugar and cinnamon.
Heat a pan or skillet with the butter, once the butter has just melted add the apples.
Let the apples cook, mixing occasionally until they are nice and soft. You can let them simmer with a lid for a few minutes.

Meanwhile in a separate bowl, add all of the crumble ingredients and incorporate them all together by rubbing the butter together with your hands so that you get that crumbly texture. Once you are satisfied that it is all mixed nicely check on your apples. We cooked the apples the night before so they had cooled down overnight in the fridge but you can use them hot too.
Put the apples in your dish, you may want to rub a little butter or put some spray butter in there first just so the apples don't stick.
Then put your crumble mixture on top and voila!


Bake in the oven on 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes then inhale the heavenly scent that fills your home!


Let cool or not and enjoy with Bird's eye custard...you can use any custard but this is our absolute favourite, apart from when Nanna makes her homemade custard!

Hope you enjoyed this little fall recipe, let us know your favourite seasonal desserts and share pictures with us if you make this recipe too!

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!
Kelly

Hot Topic: Celebrity and Media ideals!

It's the way of the world, and unfortunately I don't see it changing anytime soon; the tabloids, the celebrity channels, the reality TV shows, the news reports and the day to day coverage of what one of the Kardashians had for breakfast. We seem to be a world who feeds off other peoples problems, knowing other people's business and feeling like we have the right to criticize people especially if they have a famous name and lots of money!
It's something I can't quite get my head around, yet I won't sit here and act like I am a saint and have never once sat and watched E! News or picked up a gossip magazine, I most certainly have. However, the older I get the more I find myself walking past the shelves of magazines and shaking my head. I actually don't buy them anymore unless they have someone I really really like in....thank you TV Guide for the wonderful picture of Zachary Levi. :)


I find it difficult to trust magazines now because when you see so much made up stuff and things that just don't seem important, I start to feel like they are just feeding us a bunch of lies. I remember a couple of months back saying to Jen, "Aww isn't it sweet how Kate and Will are expecting twins?" Jen's reply was "Since when?" Granted she hasn't got the inside scoop on The Royal Family but I would have thought that England would know about it first! :p Obviously, Kate wasn't expecting Twins and it was all just a front page rumor. To me, this is just so strange! Is that really what sells in today's world? Will we only pick up magazines to purely read about who is having who's baby, who has gained weight or who has just been dumped? When did this happen? Why did it happen? Nowadays, I love watching videos on YouTube or seeing face to face interviews just because you get to hear what people have to say from their own mouths, it can't get twisted and manipulated.


Don't get me wrong, I do understand a little bit of how the whole entertainment industry works and I've heard the phrase "No publicity is bad publicity!" Some celebrities may enjoy being in the limelight, some build careers from negative tabloids, but I do feel that sometimes magazines could be a little bit nicer with the way they portray celebrities and not feel that they need to find out every little personal detail about them, then proceed to be cruel and judgmental because they feel they have some sort of right because of what these people do for a living!! I'll admit, if I see a celebrity I like and all of a sudden they are married, my Mother comes out in me and I can't help but think "Aww, how long have they been dating?, When are they going to have kids? Where did they get married?.." But then I stop myself and think, "That's none of my business...unless maybe one day I happen to have a nice sit down, a cup of tea and a chat with Chris Evans." A girl can dream! ;)

Maybe I will never fully understand this way of the world, maybe the world would be a strange place without gossip columns and paparazzi, but I can't help but wonder what our world would be like if we had magazines full of fun, kind articles about how nice someone looks today rather than how fat or thin someone is, or how thankful we are to a celebrity for making an awesome movie or really cool song, rather than how terrible they sound and who their latest partner is? What about a sweet article on how much we smiled today because of something Chris Evans said in an interview, or on his personal twitter that he wants you to see rather than pictures taken from behind a tree of what food he's eating or girl he's with? Wouldn't it be nice for the headlines to focus on people having fun, enjoying life, lifting each other up, helping others and being kind?

I just love him! :p

You may be reading this and thinking to yourself "You are living in dream world Kelly, the world needs gossip and controversy and drama especially the entertainment industry" and fair enough, this is only my opinion. I don't mean to act like we should have celebrities on a pedestal, because at the end of the day they are people, like you and me. All I am saying is, with that being said we wouldn't be cruel on a daily basis to our friends, family or a person walking down the street, so why is it OK to be mean, spread rumors and say nasty things about the people who enlighten our worlds through Music, Movies, TV etc. A lot of the time we put these things on to make us feel better, to take our minds of daily stresses or struggles, so why do we in turn as a society reward the entertainers and artists with hate, negativity and unkindness??

I can't change the Celebrity and Tabloid machine but I hope this post has made you think a little differently about the magazines you support or even just the comments you may make on social media about certain celebrities. After all, we are all people, we all deserve to be treated with respect and love. Small acts of kindness can make the world a better place.



Hope you are having a great day!
Kelly
xx


Make Up Monday: Everyday skincare routine!

If I had a Pound or a Dollar for every time someone told us we look 16, I would be rich...no seriously! Rarely do we tell people how old we are without them looking shocked after we answer. Some people may think we get annoyed or upset by not looking our age, but in actual fact, we smile and reply with "We have good genes!" :) We really do! Our Nursery teacher says to this day that our Mum looks exactly the same today as she did when she dropped us off each morning some 24 years ago, and our Dad doesn't look a day over 50...he will be 60 in February! We still get ID'd everywhere we go and a lot of the time people think Jen (our little sister) is the oldest! But sitting here at 27 years old, all I can do is smile. Though sometimes it can be a little scary, I mean a few years ago when people would say that we looked 16 when we were 21, it didn't seem so bad, but I admit it is a bit different nowadays when we think "gosh we're actually TEN years older than that!!" Eek! :p

Thinking about these moments is what inspired me to write today's blog, as my daily routine is largely due to my Mum, in fact I'd say it has everything to do with her. From as young as I can remember, there were so many times when we would be in the bathroom getting ready while watching Mum put cream on her face as she was getting ready too. We would always ask her about it and she'd say how important moisturizer was for your skin, for it to stay healthy. The image of her putting it on is so vivid as she would always look like she was putting little splodges of war paint on...a little on each cheek, a blob on her nose, one on her chin and one on her forehead...do I need to tell you how I apply my cream to my face each day or can you guess?? ;)


Before I begin mirroring my Mum with my face cream, I like to use a "Simple" face wash, I use this morning and night, seven days a week without fail. I simply can not start my day or go to bed at night without washing my face. Sleeping in make up...forget about it! This one is a foaming face wash and is 100% soap free. I know "Simple" have other kinds but this is my 'go to' one. I have tried other face washes before but I always go back to this one, it just feels nice on my skin and doesn't make it dry out like some I have tried in the past. 

Next I apply my cream exactly how I watched my Mum do all those years ago, I even use the same cream as her. Again I have tried others but always come back to Oil of Olay every time. I usually use the ones that are for normal/dry skin as this is what Mum gets. They do have night creams but I tend to just stick to putting this cream on in the mornings before I put on a little make up. I like to let my skin breathe at night...if that's even a thing!? I love the Oil of Olay creams because they never make my skin feel oily. Once I've applied it, I let it dry for a few seconds then apply my make up and it doesn't feel sticky or heavy. Plus it definitely makes my skin feel moisturized.



The last of my routine (for no makeup days) is applying some Blistex (formally Blistese) to my lips. Now this would have to be my MUST have item, I honestly can not live without it. Mum always stocks us up when we go home, as we haven't been able to find this type over here yet. It is a relief cream for cracked, dry lips etc but it has a bit of a gloss/shine to it as well. I HAVE to put this on morning and night otherwise my lips are just too dry. I tend to use a regular chapstick while at work as it's easier to apply but the minute I get home, I head straight towards my Blistex. I've been using it for as long as I can remember, again thanks to Mum. I would recommend it to everyone as it is definitely the best Lip cream I have ever used!

Another item I have recently started using, which is also pictured above is "Origins no puffery" it is a cooling roll on for puffy eyes. Lucy has been using their day and night cream and swears by them. She also has an eye cream, so when she got this sample she let me use it. I put it on every night before I go to bed. I'm not sure if that's the best time for it or whether I should be putting it on during the day but I like to think of it working it's magic at night. I can't say I've noticed a huge difference but I do feel like my eyes look less tired and puffy in the morning so maybe it is working more than I realize. Lucy is a huge fan of the "Orgins" skincare brand. I may even try their night cream next per her recommendation.

So there you have it, apart from my make up bag, these are the products I use on a day to day basis and could well be some of the factors in our looking like teenagers comments! Let me know what your go to skincare products are and what you would recommend!

Happy Monday!
Kelly






Dreaming Big!

Hope you are all having a wonderful Saturday! :) We are currently enjoying our girly weekend, getting lots done while the boys are away. You can follow us over on our 'TheBlossomTwin' instagram for pictures of our weekend so far! :)


We just wanted to pop on the blog today to let you know some of the things that we are working on and are hoping to achieve here, little changes and goals for the future. As you know we love writing, this blog has become our absolute favourite project to work on. We wake up every day with new ideas, things we want to talk about, books we want you to read, recipes we want to share with you, fun makeup finds and tons more. Recently we have been doing more research on how to turn this blog into our job. How we can make it so we can give it 110% and put all our focus in to it 24/7. We are not very computer savvy but we have been learning more about PR, Affiliates, Affiliate links and such, and have been trying to figure out what would be best for us.

While we would love for the blog to be a source of income for us, allowing us to write each day for a living, we also don't want to change anything, from the content to the way in which we talk to you. So when looking for the perfect fit, we wanted to make sure that it's not a case of us joining an affiliate program and then random products or things start popping up on the blog that don't make sense to what we are about. We don't think that would be fair to you.

Therefore, we were super excited today when we looked in to working with Amazon. The idea that we could work with them and share links with you that would help turn our goals into a reality, truly seemed like the perfect match. Here's why, you will notice that we often share Amazon links with you, especially over on our "Books are always in style" page. We spend countless hours scouring Amazon for our next reads and when we talk to you about our favourite books and authors, we most definitely want you to go and click on the link and purchase the books, because we genuinely want you to go and enjoy the book and support the awesome authors we love. You can see why this is like a dream come true for us. :) To us this is something honest, something where we pretty much don't have to change a thing. We really hope that you will support us in this new endeavor and continue to enjoy the content we put forth on our blog.

Before we go, we do just want to say that you do not have to click on these links at all, if you would prefer not to, you can always check out Amazon or any other thing we recommend by simply going on there website through Google or any other search engine. We do not wish to start drowning our site with affiliate links but we do wish to create a platform where we can make our dreams and projects a reality. :)

Thank you so much for your time and thank you for reading!

Lucy and Kelly xxx

Feelgood Friday: Long weekend fun! :)

We were super excited about having three days off this past weekend, in honor of Labor Day. It had been a crazy few weeks at work and we had been very busy, so we were definitely looking forward to a little break, to relax and wind down a bit. We both had different plans and not with each other... for a change, which meant we spent the three days having lots of quality husband time. It really was just what the doctor ordered. Today we thought we would share with you some of our favourite  moments!

Kelly!

 

My weekend was spent in Highland County Virginia at the Ginseng Mountain Lodge (Pictured above) with my Mother and Father in law and Meme! We hadn't seen them all (Chris's family) since Christmas time so we were due a visit to Virginia, this just mixed it up a little by meeting them in this cute little town! Chris's family go every year but this was the first year staying in this delightful little lodge! It was very cute with a small general store below with an apartment upstairs. They had apple, pear and walnut trees in the garden and picturesque views of the Mountains right outside the windows!
 

On the left is me and Chris in the back garden of his Dad's friends house, they had a little creek that turned into a bigger pond that actually had Trout swimming around in it! We spent both Saturday and Sunday evening around a fire pit, grilling food, drinking and chatting. It was wonderful. One of my favourite things was seeing Chris's Mum and Dad having a laugh and relaxing with their friends. It was such a cozy, happy, family atmosphere. The second picture is at the Highland County Fair on the Saturday Night, the whole town was there to watch the truck pull! We had Maple Funnel Cake and fried oreos! Later on I also had a candied apple that reminded me of that one time I mentioned here! I ate it all, you bet I was on a bit of a sugar high for the rest of the night!  


This last little picture is of me, my mother in law and Meme in the kitchen making stewed apples to take to that nights cookout. We had a production line going after we had hand picked a whole bunch of apples from their friends trees. I kid you not, it felt that much sweeter having picked them ourselves! I love being in the kitchen with my mother in law, she is a great cook and is always giving me tips and tricks. I like helping her when we visit them in Mechanicsville Virginia so it was nice that we still got to have that bonding time on this little trip! All in all it was a wonderful weekend, one that I hope can become a yearly tradition for us! :)
Lucy!
 

For me the weekend started in what has become somewhat 'traditional' fashion for me. I woke up at around 6am on Saturday morning, made coffee and sat down in My Favourite Little Spot. I love waking up and writing, whether it be working on the blog, making a 'To Do' list or working on other little writing projects I have going on. The morning just makes me feel like their are endless possibilities for the day ahead and I always feel at my most creative. This Stephen King book I picked up at Barnes and Nobles just last week and was recommended to me by the lovely Rebecca Raisin, to help with said writing. :) That was followed by a kick ass workout with my husband. I love going to the gym with him and have been getting back in to the swing of it lately. Chris always pushes me and I honestly have never felt better. :) The picture to the right was taken at OVW's Saturday Night Special. I went to go support Chris Silvio (my Chris) and hang out with my friends that I don't see all too often. When we arrived I was greeted by an awesome surprise in my friend Rocco. We haven't seen Rocco in what I'm sure has been two plus years, so it put a huge smile on my face. We trained with Rocco in Rip Rogers class and always had a blast with him, he is awesome and so funny and he made each training that much better by always making us laugh hysterically.

 

Sunday was a lovely day. Chris and I did a bit if shopping at St Matthews mall, where I ventured in to Victoria Secrets. I haven't been in there for years and I instantly fell in love with all their cozy lounge wear. Then it was grocery shopping and back home, where my wonderful husband whipped us up a feast of homemade burgers, chicken wings and potato wedges, all to be devoured while watching 'Arrested Development.'

 

You know when you have those days where you just feel like it's been filled with magic and your heart simply feels happy? Well, Monday was one of those days for me. Chris and I busied ourselves with cleaning the apartment, which in itself always makes me feel good. Then he suggested going for a walk along the waterfront. It was nice to get out and do something different as we never really venture downtown. It was such a lovely day too, not too hot but beautiful out. We had a lovely little stroll and then decided to have lunch at Joe's Crab Shack. This place we have driven past a million times and have heard many awesome things about it, however, my Chris doesn't eat fish so it was never really at the top of the list when going out. But as we were on the water front, he said we should check it out and he knows how much i love fish...he's a sweetheart! We were so happy that we gave it a chance. It was so good. Chris got the chicken club and i got peel and eat shrimp, he even had a bite of the Shrimp and liked it. We ate every bite, it was so delicious. We also treated ourselves to cocktails, which you can see over on my Twitter or Instagram...scrumptious. I have literally been daydreaming about the Pina Colada i had all week. :p It was simply a beautiful day hanging out with my husband and i felt incredibly happy, content and blessed.

We hope you all had a great weekend too and we wish you a wonderful weekend this week. Our husbands are away wrestling this weekend so now it's time for some girlie fun. :)

Keep smiling.
Lucy and Kelly xxx





An Interview with Freya North!

I am so beyond excited to share this interview with you today! I've said this many times on the blog, and in various episodes of Life is Sweet, but I will say it again, Freya North is my absolute favourite. I just love her. I spent an entire summer three years ago reading twelve of her novels and loved every one of them. Now I spend each year eagerly awaiting her next one, then stare at it on my bookshelf, not wanting to start reading it because then I know my waiting will begin all over again once I've finished it! :p Book worm problems at their finest right?? Her novels are home to me, they bring me comfort, joy and contentment, but enough about me. Freya North is a best selling British author, an Ambassador for beating bowel cancer, Founder of the Hertford Children's Book Festival and a mum! I am delighted to have her on the blog today and hope you all enjoy this interview! :)


1) Which part of the writing process do you love the most? When you first get an idea? Writing and Editing? or receiving the final copy?
Writing – always the writing. As an author, I want to know what’s going to happen in the story and whilst I’m writing, I’m utterly involved in the world of the book. It becomes home from home.
2) Out of all your leading ladies, who's world/brain would you spend a day in, if you could? Well, Frankie from The Turning Point is most like me… I felt that I saw that story through her eyes and walked every step of her journey in her shoes. That’s a very special relationship. But Oriana – I’d like to ask her how she felt when she was a child with those weird, volatile parents. I’d like to know how she felt as a teenager, exiled from her childhood home. I’d like to know more of what her life was like in California before she came home to Derbyshire and Windward…
3) What do you love most about being a writer? The freedom to escape into my imagination – the go ahead to really construct a story, to believe in the world of the book so much that fiction soon appears as fact. Plus, I’m not remotely employable in anything else –so thank goodness I’m able to do what I do!
4) You always have such wonderful descriptions and so much detail of the places your books are set in, which place out of all the places you have researched over the years is your personal favourite? Oh it has to be British Columbia. My research trip there blew my mind, filled my heart and fed my soul. I love the great outdoors – but this is the outdoors at its indisputable greatest. Never did I imagine that such a place existed. It was a truly character-forming trip as well – as never had I left my kids for that long and travelled that far away from them. If I was blessed enough to meet a Scott of my own, I’d move out to BC without thinking twice.
5) What is your favourite book? Well – it’s the Complete Works of Thomas Hardy combined with the Complete Works of John Irving (see what I did there? How on earth can you expect me to choose Just One Book?!!)
6) Out of sister's Cat, Fen and Pip, who's job would you like the most? Tour de France journalist? Art Historian? or Clown? Well, I WAS an Art Historian – I gave up my PhD to write my first novel Sally. So that’s a world I’d be happy enough to return to. I love getting lost when I look at paintings. Especially Matisse, Rothko and Cezanne.
7) I loved the relationship between Frankie and Alice in your new novel "The Turning Point" Do you have the same relationship with your characters? If so, who has been the most prominent/bossy character? Crikey – well Sally and Polly were pretty feisty and ran rings around me… Whereas Chloe, Fen and Petra needed encouragement as they are gentler characters. I think Tess and Thea are pretty brave women – and my god Frankie set me an example. I loved Alice too – you wouldn’t believe how many readers have asked me to write the “Alice” books… and one day, I might do just that.

Freya's most recent novel!
8) We love food and baking so we have to ask a food question! What is your favourite food or treat? Well, I’ve been veggie since I was 13 (I’m 47) and I absolutely love spinach. I make really scrummy patties – spinach mixed with garlic, eggs and manchego cheese quickly fried on both sides. Gorgeous with a crunchy salad and full of iron!
My go-to comfort food is ready-salted crisps and ‘fat’ coca cola!! My homemade Lemon Drizzle cake (my late Grandma’s recipe) is legendary and known amongst my friends as The Drizz.
9) Where is your perfect place to read and write? Reading – in bed. Writing – I kickstart each book in my local library, but once the story is flowing, I could write balanced on a wobbling pole in the middle of a noisy traffic junction and I’d be happy.
10) Outside of books, what do you love to do? My Tuesday nights are sacred – my ceramics evening class in my local town. Every day, I walk my two dogs Twig (English Pointer) and Bee (Cockapoo) and around 4 times a week I ride my horse Nathan. He’s 15 now and I’ve had him since he was 3. I’m a single mum – and share my home with my daft and wonderful children Felix and Georgia. Once they’re in bed, then I tend to watch a film or an HBO series. I have always loved the movies – when I write my novels, I ‘see’ the stories unfold and write what’s playing across my mind’s eye, scene after scene after scene.
Freya xxx
Isn't she just awesome?!
Follow Freya on twitter @freya_north and check out @hcbf_bookfest
You can also visit her website here and find out more about the Hertford Children's book festival here.
Oh and of course you MUST go and buy her books here..


Have a great day! Keep Smiling!
Kelly
xx

*Some links maybe affiliated.