Vancouver | A Girly Guide!
I promised a Part 2 so here it is!
Since I stayed in Vancouver for the majority of my visit to Canada, I thought I would make the rest of it about this beautiful city.
Let me warn you first:
Although most people say the weather is "similar to London, UK," it isn't! It's quite a bit colder - at least it was for my time here in late November!
I went outdoors for a run a couple of times but I'll be honest:
I was F-R-E-E-Z-I-N-G!
Minus 4 Celsius most mornings! I am not built to withstand those temperatures! I am AFRICAN! lol! So, I bundled up like an eskimo on my last run. I was also very afraid of falling on the frost-covered walking paths. I totally broke the rules a little and ran on the cycling path for some of my Seaside run (shhh, don't tell anyone!).
In between those outdoor adventures, I gave into the indoor swimming pool at the hotel (25m and not deep) and the gym downstairs - ran my 5K then played on the elliptical machine! And who wouldn't say yes to the Hot Tub (deserted), Sauna and Steam rooms (great for hair conditioning sessions)?
I even planned to try Ice Skating for the first time in my life.... only to find that the rink opposite Nordstrom wasn't yet open. =(
*I have to add here: Canadians are MAD about ICE HOCKEY! There was always some mention of Hockey and even the walk through exhibit at Canada Place had Ice Hockey cutouts to stick your face behind! Okay, I've done my bit for the national sport. lol!*
I did get up to a lot more walking adventures, so check out what I got up to below! (Pictures galore!)
My first stop was to properly explore what Stanley Park had on offer.
Discover Canada | A Girly Guide!
So this month (November 2015 in case you are tuning in later), I ventured to the other side of the world...at least it feels like that!
I'm in Canada!
You may have noticed the snow-filled backdrops of some of my recent Instagram posts. lol!
Visiting a friend in Calgary (Alberta), Canada then we quickly headed to Vancouver (British Colombia) for the remainder of my week here.
So far, I've seen snow (oh so cold in the mountains of Banff), light drizzle (welcome to Vancouver) and Sunny days (oddly enough, Banff and Vancouver). We have been really lucky with the weather being around 1 to -2 Celsius most days. In Calgary it was a lot colder but that is neither here nor there.
Here are some highlights so far (pictures below):
So I thought I'd share a recent experiment of mine! Unfortunately my phone is deciding to keep the photos to itself (it doesn't want to share).
I'll start from the beginning. Exactly, what made me consider blow-drying my hair?
Well, I saw a hair regime video by a fellow YouTuber, JoStylin who regularly blow-dries her hair to stretch it before braiding up and doing a braid-out. Similarly, I wanted a low manipulation lifestyle that also showed my length more.
So on Monday, I shampooed and conditioned my hair in chunky two-strand twists and unearthed my blow-dryer (Babyliss). I carefully finger detangled the sections then used the blow-dryer on the cool shot setting at the minimum speed setting. This was I never had any warm or hot air touching my hair. I held my hair at the ends with one hand whilst I moved the blow-dryer repeatedly down the hair. I made sure the roots were feeling smooth before focusing lower down the lengths.
I managed 4 sections before I gave up! I was just not feeling it.
Recipe | Lemon Cheesecakes
After trying out a large cheesecake recipe earlier this week, I searched my shelves for a good cupcake cheesecake recipe (this is from a Women's Weekly Cupcakes compilation book). I used the topping technique from a Mary Berry "American Cheesecake" recipe. I think I prefer the baked cheesecakes...what about you?
100g sweet digestive biscuits
50g butter, melted
2x 250g packets Cream Cheese, softened (I used Philadelphia Light and Lightest!)
2 teaspoons finely grated Lemon rine
1/4 cup (50g) Caster Sugar
Recipe | Malted Chocolate Cake
This was my first foray into "The Great British Bake Off Celebrations" recipe book! I got this at the start of the month at the Cake and Bake Show 2015 (pictures below)!
This is a very straightforward recipe and I enjoyed making it into an actual cake as opposed to my usual cupcake leanings!
Tools: 1 traybake tin or cake tin 20.5 x 25.5 x 5cm, or a roasting tin, greased with butter and base lined.
60g Malted milk drink powder ('Original' not diet or flavoured) e.g. Horlicks
50g Cocoa powder
225ml Milk (I used Almond milk)
150g Unsalter butter, softened
90g (125g) Caster Sugar
100g (125g) Light brown muscovado sugar
3 medium Eggs, beaten to mix
185g Self-raising flour
Recipe | Carrot Cupcakes!
Here is my absolute FAVOURITE carrot cupcake recipe!
I was meant to post this a long time ago but...better late than never!
I have some optional add-ins that up the taste and allow you to reduce the sugar in the recipe. I hope you enjoy this as much as I (and my friends and family) do!
Red Velvet with Real Chocolate!
So I felt like baking again yesterday and what hits the spot better than a bit of Red Velvet? This recipe comes to you from the tomes of Lola's Forever Recipe book by Lola's Cupcakes bakery! I have tweaked it to my specifications for lower sugar content, and added Oreos....naturally!
Makes 16 cupcakes
Prep time 30 mins
Cooking time 16-20 minutes.
110g Softened, Unsalted Butter
125g Soft light brown sugar (originally 160g caster sugar)
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
1/2 teaspoon Red food colouring (I used Cochineal Red)
3 tablespoons Sunflower Oil
3/4 tablespoon white wine vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
35g Dark/ Bittersweet chocolate, melted
190g Plain flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
3/4 tablespoon Unsweetened cocoa powder
70ml Whole Milk (I used Almond milk)
70ml Single cream (I used Creamy natural yoghurt)
35g Ground almonds
1 packet of Oreos, separated cream on one piece
Cream Cheese Icing
40g Unsalted Butter, softened
75g Icing sugar
150g Cream cheese (I use Medium fat Philadelphia)
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract (I left this out).
Oreos (use the side without cream for tops)
1) Preheat the oven to 160oC Fan/180oC /350oF/Gas Mark 4.
2) Mix the butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all of butter and sugar.
3) Add the food colouring followed by the egg and mix in slowly. Beat in the oil and vinegar (or lemon juice), then the melted chocolate.
4) Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder in another bowl. Add this to the batter in batches, alternating with milk and cream until evenly mixed to a soft batter.
5) Pour in the ground almonds and mix until colour is even (scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Avoid over-mixing.
6) First place half an Oreo - with the cream on it - into the bottom of each muffin case. Then use an ice-cream scoop to pour the mixture in each case - until just under 2/3rds full.
7) Bake in the preheated oven for 16-20 minutes or until risen and a skewer inserted into cakes comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1) Place the butter in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until smooth and soft. Optional: add the vanilla bean paste.
2) Sift in the Icing sugar in batches, mixing to incorporate in between (prevent lots of icing clouds). Mix well until pale and soft.
3) Add the cream cheese and mix well until smooth and glossy. Don't over-mix.
4) Now either pipe the frosting onto the cakes or spoon on and use a palette knife to spread onto the cakes.
5) Finally, place one half of an Oreo biscuit (no cream on it) onto the top of the cupcake and pat down gently to secure.
I love these cupcakes and they are a real show-stopper! Let me know how you get on with this recipe! I know, I owe you more recipes...carrot cupcakes are up there!
See you soon!
Hi, I'm Lola!
A self-confessed hair addict! On here, I share my hair journey and my inspiration.
I' m more than my hair though: I will also share food and body product recipes that I love!
Ps: you'll also find the occasional product review thrown in!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictures: I do not own the copyright to all the pictures. Hence, I will credit the source.