Prom!

Prom, a girls dreaded word when the event is lurking around the corner! My prom is in June, 2 days after my birthday actually, which if anything piles on the pressure even more. This post isn’t to just inform you about the appointments which I need to or have booked for prom, but a checklist for those who proms are creeping closer this year, or even if you’re prepared and want to not have to stress like many are doing right now. I’m not saying that boys don’t stress for prom but typically if a boy wears a suit that is pretty much all he has to do.

  1. First of all then, remembering this isn’t in any particular order, this just happens to be the order which I seem to be sorting things out. So firstly I bought the dress, now it wasn’t peer pressure, like my mom claims, that made me get my dress so early, October 2017, but more fear that I won’t get the perfect dress, because they’ll all be gone. The local shop to me has a policy, like I’m sure many others do. When you buy or put a deposit down for a dress, they write down what school you go to and take your details, so that if anyone else wants to buy that dress from that shop, they can’t. Unfortunately this obviously doesn’t account for every other prom dress, so there is the possibility that someone might have the same dress as you, but everyone else has to take that risk unless they make their own dress.
  2. I almost forgot this very important point. When you buy your dress, make an appointment with their seamstress, but if they don’t have one ask for one which they recommend. If they don’t inform you, then make sure that you have your desired shoes by the time it’s your seamstress appointment, so they can adjust the length perfectly.
  3. Next is a matching handbag, or a clutch and it doesn’t necessarily have to match lets say your dress has silver diamonds, or a colored pattern, then you could get a bag in that color to make it more of a statement color. In the shop where I got my dress from, my dress was actually on display on a mannequin and next to it was the matching bag on display, so while it was still available I bought it.
  4. That is all I currently have purchased, actually typing that compared to what else I’m about to type stresses me out a little bit about how unorganized I, unusually, am. However, next is shoes, you can go for flat, trainers (if you prefer comfort to style), stilettos, or open toed heels. Usually I would go straight for stilettos, although, my dress is a red wine sort of color, and has silver diamonds around the neck on decorated on the hips, so I feel getting silver heels would look best; it is actually quite difficult to find a pleasant silver stiletto, so I resulting to open toed shoes. When I think about it though, the train on my dress has occasional mesh, so you can see my shoes and I had this image of open toed silver shoes, and I quite liked the look. So I’ve started looking but I haven’t started looking religiously yet, just browsing when I have spare time.
  5. Next is hair, you will need to make two appointments for this; this may sound odd at first but you need to have a practice run just so the hair dresser knows what they’ll be doing and also so you have time to plan and everyone has time for error. To give you a rough idea, my thought process for how I want my hair, is that I definitely want it up in some way, I need to start browsing actually, as well as school work! Anyway I want it up, because I have an open backed dress, but it’s quite high and as I have long hair, if I have it down, you wont be able to see it. The final appointment is obviously the prom day itself. It’s important that you find out what time your prom is starting so you can plan what time you need to make your appointment for.
  6. Following is nails, whether you want them painted by a professional or want acrylics/extensions as well, it’s obviously up to you. I will personally want acrylics/extensions, and either have a color to match my dress with a silver or diamond statement nail, or have nude, or silver but I feel silver might be a bit too ambitious. This appointment, thankfully, wont have to be made on the day of the prom, you can if you don’t trust yourself to mess them up between your appointment and prom, but I intend to book my appointment the day before, or even the day before that, but preferably the day before prom. I will either have the natural shape, or the coffin shaped ones which are my favorites.
  7. Next would be makeup, I think that I will personally be doing my own makeup, however if you want to have a makeup artist do it then you would also need to book an appointment for that. The main reason is because, I don’t mind the way I do makeup, clearly, and every time I have had my makeup done by a ‘professional’ I’ve come out looking like a clown, or just never been overly pleased with my look. So I would definitely make a practice appointment; or keep practicing if you’re doing it yourself, like me.
  8. I think that is everything to do with the look, the final thing to mention is transport. I think me and two friends want to go in a vintage car but unfortunately where ever we look there never seems to be any cars that stand out to us. I considered a horse and cart but I was worried it might look tacky. However no one knows anything better than, mom, so I’m going to talk to her about it soon and see what she says. I don’t want a limo because I feel they were popular a few years ago, but not as much anymore, and either everyone has one, or no one does. I’m worried I’ve left it too late, as most places say book 6 months in advance so I’m just bordering being too late!

I hope this hasn’t stressed anyone out too much and that you find this useful. If you can’t decide on something, always get a second opinion, at least. If you can, get more than one.

Lucy

XOX

 

 

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Recent Purchases

This post is about shopping, however the theme of what I am showing you doesn’t necessarily have a theme. They are just items I have purchased which I am quite happy with and I would like to share them with you.

First of all I went to the cinema yesterday and I saw ‘The Greatest Showman’ which I loved! Yes it is a musical so they sing at inappropriate times but that is soon over looked with their superb singing voices. I enjoyed every bit of it so I highly recommend it. Before we went to see the film however, we did a little bit of browsing the shops and especially boots. I only bought three things from boots but I would still like to share them with you because the price only came to £15 which I thought was an acceptable price.

First of all I bought a Nivea, roll up lip balm because my lips have been extremely dry lately so I figured I should start taking more care of them. I got the scent/flavor Peach Shine, which reminds me of the Munch Bunch yogurts I had when I was little, it lasts for quite a while and for £1.99 it does its job perfectly.nivea peach shine  Next is a new primer, this one will be my second primer so it’s a bit more difficult to compare. I have also only used this primer once but so far I have really liked this product. It is a L’Oreal primer which I realized when buying that there is more than one type, you can have an infallible mattifying base, an anti-redness primer,  an anti-dull skin primer, or a pore refining primer, which is the one that I bought. It was £8.99 and does do the job which I bought it for, which is to blur pores, hide skin imperfections and mattify skin for a flawless, even-looking finish. I apologize for the poor quality of the following photo.

L'Oreal primer

Finally from boots I bought a Rimmel Stay Matte pressed powder, usually I would prefer to use a loose powder but there are no drug store loose powders which I have used and liked. The NYX loose powder is too finely milled so is too fine, has a weird smell, and almost takes away the coverage from your foundation. When I used it I would find my foundation looked a bit patchy if I used it too generously. Also the Rimmel loose powder is tinted, whereas I prefer a translucent powder, and it is a bit cakey. The one I bought is transparent, only £3.99 and does the job perfectly well.Rimmel stay matte powder

For New Years Eve I went to Chester for shopping with my mom and some friends, then on the night we had a wash, got ready again, and went out for something to eat at a Hickory Smokehouse which has lovely service and delicious food! Then we went to the pubs until it was the New Year. Whilst shopping we went into Paperchase, unfortunately this was the only place where we bought items from, because we spent most of our time eating and drinking, or just browsing the shops and sales. My mom bought these but I have claimed the largest and smallest as they were my favorites. They are Christmas lunch boxes, I am aware that Christmas has gone but I might as well use them now or they’ll hardly be used. They were reduced in the sales from £8, I think, to £4. The smallest one, to give you an idea of the size, can fit easily into my palm.paperchase lunch boxes.jpg

Finally, and this is my favorite purchase which is why I saved it for last, is a diary. Not one where I write my thoughts and feelings, beginning each day with “Dear diary…” but a calendar in a book basically. I was looking for one that wasn’t tiny because I wanted a page per day, so I have plenty of room to write appointments or parties or just events in general. However I didn’t want it too big as I wanted it to fit in my handbag, which it does. I would’ve preferred to buy one that said 2018 on the front whereas mine says ‘Twenty Eighteen’ which wasn’t a deal breaker for me so I still bought it. It has perforated corners so that you can rip them off and keep track of which page you are on without having difficulty in finding your place. It was on offer from £8 to £4 which I thought was a completely reasonable price.

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Lucy

XOX

New Years Resolutions

Apologies in advance for being that basic person who writes about their new years resolutions which they are 99.9% positive that they wont be kept all the way through the following year. I intend to stray from this classic tradition, as I hope to write a similar post to this at the end of 2018, claiming my victory in defeating the new years resolutions trend.

  1. This year I hope to put 100% effort into revising for my exams as they are coming up so quickly and I hope to get my target grades and if possible, higher.
  2. Ironically as I type this I am sipping at my central perk travel mug that I got for Christmas, which is filled with a coffee, but I do hope to consume less caffeine because I’m not addicted to it but I do have at least one cup a day which isn’t exactly a healthy life style. I’m sure swapping a cup of coffee or tea for water would be much more beneficial for my body.
  3. I would like to do more exercise, not necessarily to loose weight but to make sure I don’t gain any and also so I am able to say with confidence that I live a healthy life style. I read another post about doing more exercise and their idea, you’d think would be obvious but I thought it was very clever to point out the obvious. Don’t do exercise in a way that puts you off, like going for a jog or going to the gym but go ice skating with friends or swimming. Which isn’t cheaper than going for a jog but, it is cheaper than paying for a gym membership every month.
  4. This isn’t necessarily a thing I hope to do it’s more of a checklist for myself. I love reading! I am currently reading ‘To kill a mockingbird’, I aspire to read all the classic books and everyday my list of books I want to read grows. The name of it has slipped my mind but my dad mentioned to me today, a book that I would ‘love’. So once I figure out the name, that will be added to the list. A short list is, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Silence of the lambs and a Tale of two cities. Also for those fellow book lovers who basically live in Waterstones, I’m sure you will be familiar with the section of classic books that have beautiful covers, I need to read the one I got for Christmas ‘The adventures of Alice in Wonderland’, and I hope to read other ones as well.
  5. I want to take more photographs this year, as a picture is worth 1000 words, and contains memories. Which is why I love them, because even if you have forgotten a fond memory, a photograph will jog your memory allowing you to reminisce.
  6. Finally I started this resolution around July and so far it has been working so I hope to continue it. When my sister was 18 she had money so that she could put it towards a car, so I presume the same is going to happen for me, so I need to make sure I have money saved for that time. By that I don’t mean working every Saturday and not spending a penny. What I do is, I don’t spend any money for as long as I can, then when I need some more foundation, for example, I look at what else I might need and buy it then and there. Also when I receive money for Christmas, for example, I am allowed to spend my loose money and only use my card if necessary. I know it’s a fool proof plan, if you want to save, don’t spend, but I am not tight, I have been out for meals with my friends, and bought Christmas presents, and makeup and yet because I’m not being careless it seems to be working.

 

Let me know what some of your New Years Resolutions are.

Happy New Year,

Lucy

XOX

Life after Death?

Apologies to those who think this is a bit of a dark and deep subject to dive into. For those wondering, no, nothing has particularly made me want to write about this subject. I was just sitting at my desk/dressing table, with my laptop in front of me wanting to write about something, I didn’t know what, I just fancied writing. Then I began to ponder what I could write about. Oddly this was about the 3rd thing that came to mind and I thought it was appropriate enough as I always have a lot to say about things like these but never anywhere to put my thoughts.

The complexity of the brain has always lured me into deep thoughts. What happens to us when we die? The thoughts I’m thinking now, do they all just suddenly stop and disappear one day? Maybe like some religions believe, is there life after death? Possibly not resurrection where you are born into another body, or is that possible, and all the memories of previous lives just vanish from your mind? 1000 years ago, was I burned at the steak for witch craft, was I part of the royal family, was I in one of the famous world wars? Regrettably this brings me onto the topic of, God, heaven and hell, do they exist? Maybe I’m being ridiculous, for considering the existence of God, or maybe I’m being smart and using my endless studies in religion, philosophy and ethics to guide me to decide what I believe. Yes, I was christened as a baby, but that doesn’t mean that I am strictly Catholic or Protestant and that I believe God is the only answer to any question you could have. I say that I am atheist, but honestly I have no idea what I believe, I think it is impossible to consider believing that you know all the correct answers, and that if you believe something then naturally it means that it is true. I try to keep an open mind, I hope that there is life after death whether that be heaven and hell, and atonement (which is making up for your sins) actually works, or whether it be resurrection into another body. If it is the later then that would upset me almost, because yes, obviously death is a horrific thing, but if I have had many wonderful memories and if I have had loved ones in past lives like the ones I do now, it upsets me to think that I have forgotten all about them, or even that I will forget all about my current loved ones.

To conclude I hope this doesn’t depress you too much and make you think that you’re never going to remember your loved ones, but use it to inspire you to live life as though everyday is your last, appreciate everyone around you. Yes maybe you fall out every now and then, but what’s the point in holding a grudge? Nothing is going to come out of it, and also don’t be harsh on others if they’re annoying or whatever, they are just trying to live their life to fullest, so why don’t you join them?

Sorry if this post has been a bit too deep or a bit cheesy. It’s just a topic of interest I wanted to share with complete strangers 🙂

Lucy

XOX

Perfect, Inexpensive, Presents for Friends

I apologize if this post is too late to write now and wont be much help to basically everyone. However I am writing this post based on what I have sent to my friends as Christmas presents this year and also what I have received off of my friends.

A lot of the presents I recommend are gift sets from boots. For example, the present which I am most impressed by was on sale so unfortunately I can’t give you the normal price but I think it is roughly £12. I bought it for £8 and I was shocked at the price as it was a set of six votive candles, and they were all winter scents. I was pleased with this purchase because Yankee Candle usually sell the votive candles as £1.99 each; meaning six of these would be £11.94.

Linking to the present above, either a stocking idea or a little something for somebody who you know loves candles, you could buy them a candle snuffer from the Yankee Candle store. They are around £8 from what I’ve seen online.

Soap and Glory gift sets are never a bad gift to receive. There is always something whether it be a £5 gift set or a £25 one. Soap and Glory gift sets can vary from body sprays to body butter. A perfect gift set for an acquaintance or even a friend that you are struggling to buy for. For one of my friends I bought a set that was £5 and included a mini body spray and a body scrub.

In addition to this is I bought a large cracker with 16 nail varnishes in it (I think) for £10 and its the perfect, odd shape so that they can’t tell what it is you’ve bought for them. Plus who doesn’t love festive colored nails at Christmas?

Also I received a china travel mug with a rubber lid. On the front was the Central Perk coffee shop logo, from the series ‘Friends’ which I have used a lot even when I’m just sitting at my desk using my laptop. I believe it to be a lovely present for those who like the ‘Friends’ series.

Finally, I didn’t receive or give a present from lush this year but I had something similar which led me to think of lush. You can either buy a few different ones, hand selected from the store or you can take the easier option, which I have done in the past and prefer it, by selecting a gift set. Once again the price varies from £10 – £30 so you can tailor your purchase to your budget requirements.

I hope this is useful, not just for Christmas presents but maybe for birthdays, or even small mothers/fathers day presents. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and I hope you have a happy New Year!

Lucy

XOX

Taylor Swift – Reputation

Taylor Swift

I have been a fan of Taylor Swift for a while and I loved her album 1989! There was only one or two songs on there which I didn’t know every word to and that was just because I preferred the other songs just that little bit more. On Christmas, my second from last present was a box and in it was Taylor’s new CD and an envelope. Instantly I knew that I was receiving tickets for her concert! So I jumped onto Spotify and added her new album to my playlist and played through it a couple of times. The first song I heard in the album wasn’t horrible but it is my least favorite; so at first I was hoping that the songs would get better… trust me they do! I love her new album! When you first hear it, it sounds quite edgy compared to her other songs. However when you listen again to the tone of her voice and the lyrics, nothing has changed. She might’ve changed her style, in order to ‘spice things up a bit,’ but apart from that I don’t feel that she has ‘changed’ at all. Her album has not disappointed and her album even comes with a signed poster, which is double sided so you can pick which side you prefer most.

If you are a fan of Taylor Swift and you’ve listened to her new album once or twice, you need to listen to it again! My personal favorites are:

  • I did something bad
  • Don’t blame me
  • Delicate
  • Gorgeous
  • Getaway car
  • This is why we can’t have nice things

That is only if I had to pick favorites other than that I do love every song for different reasons. If you have never really liked Taylor’s pop style of music, listen to this CD which is a lot more edgy and definitely more modern, so I presume it will appeal more to the younger generation.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

Lucy

XOX

Gingerbread

I am aware that this is my second baking post in the last two days, but unfortunately I can’t help it; my natural thing to do when boredom begins to kick in on a day off school, I usually tend to bake something. Whether you like gingerbread or not this recipe will give you enough biscuits to give away to the entire family! Not to mention the warm, Christmasy aroma that circulates the house whilst baking gingerbread. My cousin recommended the gingerbread dough recipe to me and it’s from one of the Great British Bake Off recipe books.

Ingredients:

  • 350g Plain flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground mixed spice
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Bicarbonate or soda
  • 175g Unsalted butter
  • 150g dark muscovado sugar (I used dark brown sugar as I didn’t have any muscovado sugar and it was too cold outside to ‘pop to the shops’)
  • 4 Tablespoons golden syrup

Equipment:

  • Weighing scales
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Medium saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cookie cutters or templates
  • Spatula/Palette knife
  • Sieve
  • Rolling pin
  • Baking tray
  • Baking parchment

Recipe:

  1. Into your mixing bowl, sift the: flour, ginger, cinnamon, mixed spice, salt and bicarbonate of soda.
  2. Then get your saucepan and over a low heat whilst stirring with a wooden spoon melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup, until all the ingredients are melted and combined.
  3. Next pour over all the melted ingredients into the large mixing bowl with all the dry ingredients; stir with your wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together. A little tip is that once the dough begins to come together you will find that it will only form a nice ball, by using your hands to roll it around the bowl.
  4. Lightly flour either a chopping board or a worktop and then place you dough onto the floured surface. Whilst the dough cools from having the melted ingredients added, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, fan.
  5. Roll out the dough until it is the same thickness as a pound coin however this isn’t a necessity as some of mine where a bit thicker because the dough can be difficult to roll out. Whilst rolling the dough out you may find that because it is such a dry dough it will be easier to add a bit of water every now and then. This makes the dough easier to roll out and easier to transport your shapes to the baking tray.
  6. Cut your shapes either using cookie cutters or a template as I did in the images above, carefully remove the dough surrounding your shapes with a spatula or a palette knife and place them on the baking tray that should be covered with a sheet of baking parchment. Continue step 5 and 6 until you have no dough left.
  7. There may be several batches so if you don’t have enough baking tray whilst your cutting the shapes out but a batch in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes and then remove from the oven. They will be soft when they first come out of the oven but don’t fret as the do harden as they cool.
  8. Then you are free to decorate them creatively or even as simply as you desire. I used royal icing which is simply water and icing sugar mixed together; there is no professional way of putting it on so either use a teaspoon or if you want to focus on detail something that it thin and pointy (like a cocktail stick if you have that much patience).
  9. The last step is to enjoy your gingerbread shapes and share them with love ones.

I hope this is useful, and I do recommend that if you Bake this recipe that you have patience with breaking dough! I love the festive season and so I hope to be posting quite often, until then have a very Merry Christmas!

Lucy

XOX

Shortbread

Shortbread is an easy recipe to do whilst housebound because you are snowed in; it doesn’t require a large amount of ingredients and should be appealing to most ages. Despite people claiming it can be a bit bland, I never refuse to have a shortbread biscuit and a lovely cup of tea to set me up for winter-full day. I used the recipe for shortbread from The Great British Bake Off, cakes and biscuits recipe book.

Ingredients:

  • 125g Unsalted butter
  • 50g Caster sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling on top
  • 150g Plain flour (however I used 200g as I didn’t have any corn flour which is the next ingredient)
  • 50g Corn flour (but if you use 200g Plain flour then this ingredient won’t be necessary)
  • Pinch of salt

Equipment:

  • Weighing scales
  • Mixing bowl
  • Electric whisk or hand whisk
  • Baking paper
  • Baking tray
  • Rolling pin
  1. Cream the butter and the caster sugar together by whisking them together until light and pale, in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add all the flour and salt into the mixing bowl and mix until combined, be sure not to over work it (if you struggle to combine it into a dough add a bit water, not forgetting that shortbread is quite a wet dough anyway, so don’t put too much water in)
  3. Lightly dust some plain flour onto a sheet of baking paper, roll out the shortbread dough to either a 20cm diameter (length) or just a square if you intend on cutting shapes. Carefully lift the baking paper and place on a baking sheet, if you rolled the dough into a circle, then crimp the shortbread around the edges with your fingers, making a decorative pattern. Then use a knife and not cutting all the way through, make scores of triangles on the dough. However if you wish to particular shapes I would personally wait until after the next step before using cutters or templates.
  4. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes – 1 hour, as I am fairly impatient I only waited 30 minutes but it depends on how firm you would like your dough to be. (If you like it firm keep it in for an hour)
  5. While the dough is in the refrigerator preheat the oven to 130 degrees Celsius, fan.
  6. Once the dough has chilled, for the circular shaped dough, it can be pricked with a fork and put straight into the oven but if you want to do particular shapes, as the dough has firmed up it will be easier to roll and cut out shapes by rolling cutting out the shapes and then re-rolling and cutting out the shapes etc, until you have no dough left, try and avoid very delicate shapes as the could break once baked. Make sure the shapes aren’t touching and place in the oven.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour until golden on top.
  8. Once finished remove the circle and cut through all the way if you want them to be separate or leave slightly dented. With the shapes leave them to harden and cool. Finally sprinkle them with some more caster sugar or normal sugar it doesn’t matter which.

I hope those who are also snowed in or just fancy a something easy to bake will find this useful.

A little tip is that if you don’t have shape cutters, you can make your own templates by drawing them on a piece of paper and cutting them out.

Happy Baking!

Lucy

XOX

Halloween Traditions

As many may know there is a Halloween tradition where children dress up in ‘scary’ costumes and go from house to house, asking for sweets with the familiar cry of “trick or treat”. A question has recently sprung to mind; why do we carve pumpkins for Halloween, where does the tradition come from? So I did a bit of research and it turns out that it comes from Ireland, in the 18th century. Like many legends there are many varying tales of this story, but this is the one that I’ve discovered.

There was a young man called Jack (hence the term jack ‘o’ lanterns) and he was a foul-mouthed drunk. He decided to go for a drink with the devil. He believed that the devil would pay, as he hasn’t got a bit of money. However the devil presumed that Jack would pay. When it came time to pay, Jack suggested to the devil that he should turn himself into the money needed, and then turn back once the bill had been paid. Foolishly the devil did so and Jack paid the bill. Then Jack some how retired the coin that the devil had turned into and kept it on his pocket. As he was in Jack’s pocket the devil was unable to transform back to his original form. Jack made a deal with the devil that if he promised not to get revenge on him for at least 10 years then he would let him go. The devil agreed and kept his word. Once the 10 years had passed, the devil found Jack to seek his revenge. They were walking and Jack asked the devil to climb the tree and pick him an apple, once again the devil did so and Jack drew a cross on the tree trunk so the devil could not come down. Jack made another deal with the devil that he will let him come down if he swore not to condemn him to hell, ever. The devil agreed and kept his word.

When Jack died he was not allowed to go to heaven for he had done wrong during his living days, and the devil wouldn’t and couldn’t let him into hell. In the end, Jack was given a lump of burning coal by the devil to light his way through purgatory. Jack carried the coal inside a hollowed out turnip. Irish families told the tale and began to put carved out turnips in their windows to prevent Stingy Jack and other ghouls from entering the home. Some had scary faces carved into them to frighten away any comers. Once the tradition hit the United States, Irish immigrants soon realized that the pumpkin, native to the states, was an ideal fruit for carving. That’s why you see jack-o’-lanterns outside houses around Halloween.

Here are the pumpkins I attempted to carve this year…

I hope this was interesting!

Happy Halloween!

Lucy

XOX

Mince Pies

I love baking mince pies, the smell just screams Christmas! Regardless of whether it may be too early to start baking Christmas recipes it doesn’t hurt to practice a batch or two. Yesterday I began baking mince pies from scratch, not with pre-made dough. The recipe is from Mary Berry’s Christmas collection, recipe book. As I have made mince pies from scratch before I did alter the instructions slightly, but I will point out where I altered it Incas you prefer to follow the recipe step by step.

Ingredients:

  • 175g (6oz) plain flour
  • 75g (3oz) butter
  • 25g (1oz) icing sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • About 350g (12oz) mincemeat
  • Spare icing sugar

Equipment:

  • Weighing scales
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Jug
  • Fork
  • Sieve
  • Food processor (or could just use hands)
  1. Firstly weigh out the plain flour, icing sugar and butter; place them in a large mixing bowl. Next Mary Berry’s recipe suggested using a food processor or blender to combine all the ingredients until they resembled bread crumbs. However I do not own a food processor or a blender so from a previous recipe I knew that you can use your fingers rubbing everything between your fingers, it might help to cut the butter into cubes if you use your fingers, continue rubbing until once again the combined ingredients resemble bread crumbs. Add all of the beaten egg to the mixing bowl and in the recipe it again says put it in a processor, but if you don’t have one, simply roll all the ingredients around the bowl until it forms a dough. Lightly dust a work top with flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Then knead the dough lightly.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/Fan 180 degrees Celsius gas mark 6.
  3. Roll out the pastry and use a circular or rimmed cutter. Place the circular shapes you cut out in a cupcake baking tray. Remember to leave enough dough to make the tops of the mince pies and there is also no specific thickness that the pastry has to be, it is completely dependent on how your favoured thickness.
  4. Fill all the bases of the mince pies with a table spoon, or at least until they are level with the sides. Cut out the tops of the mince pies either a smaller circle than the base or like Mary Berry did, a different shape such as a star. Place the lids on top of the filled bases and where the sides of the bases and the lids meet squeeze them together gently.
  5. Crack another egg into a jug and beat it with a fork, get an egg wash brush and brush the tops of the mince pies with egg wash. It is not necessary if you use the star shaped lids but if you do a circular lid I recommend stabbing two holes on top just to allow some of the heat/steam to escape the pies if needed. Place them in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Leave to cool and then remove them from the baking tray on to a cooling rack or where ever would be suitable to dust a bit of icing sugar on top. When you do dust the icing sugar on make sure you do it through a sieve so there are no lumps.
  7. Enjoy eating your delicious mince pies with a cup of tea next to a roaring fire or whilst watching a Christmas film or music way too early.

I hope this is helpful for practices or when it is closer to Christmas, enjoy!

Thank you for reading,

Lucy

XOX