Easy Pina Colada Cupcakes with Sugar and Crumbs

Firstly, apologies for the lack of blogpost - I promise they will be more regular from now on, I've just been a busy bee! Now, onto the good stuff: cupcakes!

I think we can safely say I'm a very amateur baking. I can follow a recipe to an acceptable standard but I'm no Mary Berry. I received a bag of Sugar and Crumbs Pina Colada flavoured icing sugar at the #BloggerTikiParty event (which you can read about here!) and I thought I would put it to good use - on cupcakes of course!

I followed a very basic cupcake recipe (from a kids cookbook, naturally) which was almost completely successful, bar the odd nipple-shaped tops on the cupcakes which you can see in the picture below. Before icing, I cut off the nips (sorry) to make a flatter surface.

Once the cupcakes had cooled down, I proceeded to make the Pina Colada buttercream. There was a buttercream recipe on the back of the packet which was a godsend because I'm useless with winging it when it comes to baking. Sugar and Crumbs recommended using some normal icing sugar in with the mixture for a slightly less intense flavour which I did and I was so impressed with the taste! The coconut and pineapple flavours were very evident and didn't taste artificial at all. I (attempted to) use an icing bag to pipe the cupcakes and it was then that I realised that I'm pretty useless at piping. But I had a go anyway and here is the outcome.

As you can probably already tell, I strategically placed the best one at the front (the rest kind of look like they are topped with dog poop) but I can guarantee you they tasted wonderful! They went down so well with the rest of my family so big thumbs up and thank you to Sugar and Crumbs for providing this fabulous icing sugar!

Bon app├ętit.
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I Was Featured In The Guardian?!

A few months ago I was contacted by Nicola, a freelance writer who had been commissioned to write a double spread for the Guardian's University clearing supplement which was published in August just before students received their A-Level results. The supplement provided vital information for prospective University students who may not have achieved the A-Level grades they needed for their University choice and so had to go through the UCAS clearing process.

The article I was involved with was depicting a 'diary of a student blogger' through Instagram photos and interview questions to complement these. Unfortunately, the article was only available in paper form on the day it was released and isn't online, so I thought I would share and expand on some of the questions with you! (Apologies in advance for the poor quality photo - it's hard to take a picture of a picture!)

Even since finishing Uni, I still love going to the gym and eating well. I was pretty good at budgeting at University and I think part of it is down to knowing the best places to buy food (e.g. fruit was cheaper from a market stall in town) and not eating meat every day of the week. If you're interested in cooking yummy vegetarian meals, I wrote up some of my favourite recipes a while back on my blog which you can read here and here. The photo on the right was taken at the Makeup Revolution 2nd birthday party in London a few months back. I feel so lucky to be invited to amazing events like this one and I have met so many incredible people through these experiences!

I love the photo on the left of my final year uni fam at Christmas. They're totally going to rinse me if I make this soppy but it was so sad moving out because it was such a great year, even if most of it was spent deciding what film to watch in the evening. I couldn't write this article without mentioning the charity I was involved with (predominantly in second and fourth year) - Student Minds. It's a national charity with regional branches within Universities that aim to support students struggling with their eating. Student Minds was one of the reasons I decided to work on an eating disorders ward on my placement year at Uni and I loved every minute of it. We held some great fundraising events as a group and I feel so privileged to have been part of such a wonderful society at Uni. And of course I had to mention my little (5 year old) pup Alfie - LOOK HOW CUTE HE IS!

A massive thank you to Nicola for contacting me and writing up my national newspaper debut - I'm so glad I could be a part of it and it's perfectly rounded off a fantastic four years at University. If you're interested in reading my blog series on starting University, I'll put the links below. Let me know about your Uni experiences in the comments!

The Ultimate Uni Checklist: http://www.highstreetbeautyjunkie.com/2015/09/what-should-you--take-to-university.html
Making Friends at Uni: http://www.highstreetbeautyjunkie.com/2015/09/making-friends-at-uni-my-top-five-tips.html
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