Wholemeal Lemon Yogurt Muffins

lemon-yogurt-muffins

I always associate lemon flavours with Spring — fresh and bright and light! I wanted to make something tasty and zesty but also wholesome enough to enjoy during the week without the guilt. I had a craving for muffins and I knew that the right ingredients would make a pretty good healthier batch.

I based this recipe on one I had tried before. Wholemeal flour is notorious for making baked goods heavy and dense. However all the yogurt and lemon curd in this recipe balances it out, creating light and deliciously moist muffins. You can use a shop-bought lemon curd but it’s really incredibly easy to make at home either (I use this recipe). The overall end result makes for a really great weekday treat!

lemon-yogurt

The following is loosely adapted from this recipe which I tried (and loved!) last month:

Ingredients:

8 tablespoons lemon curd
Zest of 1 lemon
50g butter
225g wholemeal flour
125g light brown sugar
150ml plain yogurt
1 egg
1 teaspoon bread soda

wholemeal-lemon-yogurt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 150°C and line your muffin tin with cases.

In a pan over a low heat, stir together the butter, lemon curd and zest until completely melted.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the sugar, egg and yogurt.

Sieve the flour and bread soda in to the wet mixture and beat until well combined.

Gradually add in the melted lemon butter mix and beat for a further minute.

Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cases. This recipe will yield 12 medium-sized muffins or 6-8 large.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Muffins will be firm but springy to the touch when ready and a knife or skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave muffins aside to cool for ten minutes and then enjoy!

These can be kept in an airtight container for up to 7 days. I haven’t tried but — if they won’t get eaten in a week — I imagine they freeze pretty well in individual bags too! I love these for breakfast with some yogurt and lemon curd on the side or even dolloped on each half — so yummy!

lemon-yogurt-muffin

Nails Inc x Marie Claire

This month’s Marie Claire (UK edition) comes with a free Nails Inc. polish with four shades to choose from: the hot pink Fiesta; pretty lilac Fashion; coffee-coloured Festival and dusty pink Fizz.

I picked up Fiesta. I have at least half a dozen Nails Inc polishes and I’ve always had good experiences with them. Unfortunately I found the formula in this particular bottle to be a bit thick and almost gloopy. This means that the application process can quickly get messy so it’s necessary to take extra care. I also skipped the top coat this time because I was in a rush and disappointingly, it started to chip after just 2 days. I almost always wear a top coat whenever I wear nail polish so I’m not too sure but I feel like 2 days isn’t very long wear-wise?!

As for the colour; I liked the look of it in the bottle but once I applied it, I wasn’t too sure. It’s a super pretty bright raspberry shade but the finish is just too shiny for my liking — I feel it detracts from the colour. I also think the name is so uninspired — Fiesta is way too obvious a choice. I know some people will go crazy for this polish but it’s just not for me. I would have preferred Fizz or Festival but neither were available in the shops that I checked. I’ll keep this on my nails ’til the weekend but I honestly think the bottle will be going in the back of my collection for now.

marie_claire_nails_inc

The Sims 4 Genealogy & Legacy Challenge

Earlier this month, the genealogy feature was (finally!) introduced to The Sims 4. To celebrate their fifteenth anniversary, the team at EA have brought in this tool which will allow players to track their Sim families. Simple as it may sound, this was a feature that was sorely missed by many players. I know I personally didn’t enjoy the game as much without it. In fact, it was one of the main reasons why I only played The Sims 4 on and off for a couple of months after its release and then kind of just forgot about it.

The return of genealogy and family trees to The Sims series has sparked my interest in this latest game once again. It immediately inspired me to make a brand new family from scratch — and I also decided to do the Legacy Challenge with it! For those unfamiliar with the Legacy Challenge; it basically involves creating a single Sim and starting them out on an empty lot with low funds. The idea is that you build a life and a legacy for this Sim from scratch, aiming to have ten generations of the one family born and raised on the same lot. There are various rules to abide by to make it a bit more challenging — it’s pretty interesting and definitely worth checking out if you’re a Sim player. This is my first time attempting this challenge and — even though I’m only on the third generation — I’m loving it! It’s a different way of playing the game. Sure, I’ve created dozens of families with multiple generations before but the limitations and rules that come with this challenge make it a little more complex. I decided to snap and share my Legacy so far — if you’re also doing the challenge, feel free to share how you’re getting on too!

family-tree-sims-4

As per Legacy Challenge rules, I started out with a single Young Adult Sim. Dark and handsome Abel Beauvoir couldn’t wait to have a family of his own! After he got himself a job and earned enough Simoleans to build himself some sort of a shack; he quickly settled down. I had him marry Chantel, a pretty blonde that he met at the local bar — it’s almost like a modern day fairy tale ;-).

sims-4-genealogy

Abel and Chantel went on to have two little ones. Their first was a boy named Bran who had his father’s dark features and their second was a girl called Bethany who’s fair like mom.

sims-genealogy

The kids always grow up so quickly — in no time, Bran turned in to a cheerful but insane teen and Bethany became a little musical prodigy.

sims-4-family-tree

Unfortunately, Abel passed away of old age before his son and heir reached adulthood. Bran followed in his father’s footsteps and married at a young age — also, coincidentally, to a blonde he met in a bar (venues are still sadly limited in The Sims 4, ok?!). Also, in the above shot, you can see Bran’s maternal grandparents. As his mum Chantel was already a character in the game, she came with some heritage of her own!

sims-family-tree

Bran and his wife Olive also had a boy and girl of their own. Charlotte is their first-born but because this is a patriarchy, it’s her younger brother Charlie who will be named heir. How unfair — but as it’s not a strict patriarchy, Charlotte may still stand to inherit the estate should anything happen to the boy…

sims-legacy

The rules of this challenge state that you take the bad events with the good. Unless a technical glitch occurs, no restarts are allowed. So when Bran and Olive are caught in a kitchen fire, they tragically expire on the spot and little Charlotte and Charlie are made orphans.

sims-4-legacy

Fortunately their kind aunt Bethany takes on the role of their guardian. Their original home had been largely destroyed in the fire so she bulldozes the entire lot and builds a stunning new abode for this next generation. As her niece and nephew grow up, Bethany decides to add to the family tree with a little girl of her own! Amelie is still a baby at the moment and her cousins love taking care of her. All is well in the Beauvoir household…at least for now! ;-)

Loving Lately

Another month has come and (nearly) gone! This is what I’ve been loving these past few weeks:

penneys-bathbombs

I’d never seen bath bombs in Penney’s before so I grabbed one immediately. This one is coconut and it’s fairly lovely. It’s white so it just makes the water look foamy and the scent is quite subtle but it did make my skin feel softer — it’s also only €1.50 so you really can’t go wrong!

 wpid-dsc_0588.jpg

Okay so Skittles are always good but the limited editions packs out right now contain cherry cola flavoured blue sweets and they’re just the best!

river-island-bag

I fell in love with this bag as soon as I saw it in River Island. Lilac and girly and gorgeous with a pretty silky scarf; it’s perfect for Spring!

Bog Standard

bog-standard

I recently received a gorgeous gift of a Bog Standard natural wax candle. Before I’d even opened it up, I was swooning over the pretty packaging. The box is covered in hand-drawn wildflowers with a list of simple everyday luxuries printed on the back. Inside was a pure white candle in a sturdy and solid glass.

bog-standard-candle

I have to admit I’d never heard of this range before but after looking in to it, I’m fairly impressed! It includes soaps, candles, hand creams and more all inspired by and created in Ireland.

irish-candle

With their candles, Bog Standard use a fragrance content of 7% — compared to the industry average of 3-5%. Some of the scents in the range include Clover; Field and Moss. My candle is Sea. It has a clean, fresh outdoorsy fragrance. I’ve been lighting it every time I have a bubble bath and it just fills the room with the loveliest and most relaxing scent. I can speak from my own experience to say that this makes a really great gift. Whether it’s for a loved one or yourself, is up to you!

irish-natural-candle

February Penney’s Haul

It’s a well known fact that it’s virtually impossible to go in to Penney’s and leave empty-handed. I popped in for one thing at the weekend and came out with six…! Although that’s really not too bad. I didn’t even go near the clothes or pyjama section this time because the last time I did that, I walked out with two very heavy bags!

I went in to Penney’s anyway, most recently, just for a cute new pair of slippers. Not finding any that I liked; I ended up getting these slipper socks which are cosy but not actually that comfy as they have these little beady grip things on the sole. On my way to the checkout, I was drawn to the beautiful range of scarves. Whether for a splash of colour or a bit of warmth, I think a cotton scarf always adds a cute finishing touch to any day-to-day outfit. This blue and white print scarf doubles as a snood and has a lovely Spring feel about it.

Then I found myself in the beauty section where I picked up a handy pack of four nail files and also a coconut bath bomb! I’d never seen bath bombs in Penney’s before so I’m really excited to try this! Another thing I couldn’t say no to was the magnetic shopping list as I’m forever scribbling on bits of loose paper. I couldn’t resist the matching hardback notebook either — it’s a practical purchase, really! These 6 items came to a grand total of €12 — can’t go wrong with that!

february-penneys

  • A5 Notebook: €1.50
  • Magnetic Shopping List: €1.50
  • PS Printed 4 Pack Nail Files: €1.50
  • PS Naturals Bath Bomb: €1.50
  • Fuzzy Slipper Socks: €3.00
  • Printed Scarf/Snood: €3.00

Bourjois Little Round Pot Eyeshadow

bourjois-eyes

Most of my eyeshadows are in the form of palettes so I thought I might start picking up a couple of individuals, for a change. Bourjois’ Little Round Pots stood out for me immediately.

There’s a beautiful range of colours in this collection which come encased in solid little pots. Some shades have the prettiest names like rose macaron and marron glace. As it turned out; the one I chose is just called Prune…! It’s really not an appealing name but I suppose it’s what’s inside that counts!

Inside is a gorgeous purple shade with hints of sparkle. It’s a soft and almost powdery formula which makes it easy to blend. It lasts reasonably well and the mirror inside the lid is also a lovely little bonus. I think it may have come with an applicator but I use my own brushes anyway. If you wet your applicator/brush beforehand, it intensifies the colour for a more dramatic look. It looks great either way and I think it would suit any skin tone — perfect for a glam night out!

bourjois-eyeshadow