Thursday, 30 July 2015

Vanilla and strawberry jam butterfly cupcake recipe

Vanilla and strawberry jam butterfly cupcake recipe - Bearded Couture

Last week was my time to shine at our work bake off. So, every week around three or four people anonymously bake something around a given theme. Some of the themes we have included London Underground stations, spice, boozy nights but mine was cupcakes - something that I like to think of being a speciality of mine. 

I originally wanted to make coffee and walnut cupcakes but I thought that this may not be something everyone liked. So, I stuck to something a bit more safe and decided to make vanilla and strawberry jam butterfly cupcakes. They went down a treat at work and I won the majority of this weeks vote so I thought I would share my recipe with you all so you can recreate them.

Vanilla and strawberry jam butterfly cupcake recipe - Bearded Couture

What ingredients do I need?
4 oz of self raising flour4 oz of caster sugar, 4 oz of margarine
2 eggsNielsen-Massey vanilla extract, strawberry jamicing sugar
unsalted butterpink food colouringvanilla pods, butterfly confetti

How do I make these cupcakes?
1) Preheat the oven to 180°C / Gas mark 4
1) Weigh out the self raising flour, caster sugar and margarine and place into a a mixing bowl
2) Using your fingers, rub the margarine into the sugar and flour 
3) Crack the two eggs and add a cap full of Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract into the mixture
4) Stir until there are no more lumps left in the mixture
5) Using an ice cream scoop, place a scoopful of the cupcake mixture into the cupcake cases
6) Place in the oven for 15 minutes until the cupcakes are cooked through and golden brown on top. You can test whether they are ready to come out the oven by sticking a knife in the centre of a cupcake and if it comes out clean, they are cooked
7) Move to one side and let the cupcakes cool down

Vanilla and strawberry jam butterfly cupcake recipe - Bearded Couture

Monday, 27 July 2015

Bluebeards Revenge Blogger Challenge #manliestofmanes *

Bluebeards Revenge Blogger Challenge - Bearded Couture

Bluebeards Revenge have just released a brand new range of hair-styling products which has caused a bit of a stir in the world of male grooming. They recently contacted me to see if I would like to put these products to the test and take part in an exclusive blogger challenge which I happily accepted.

The problem I have is that my hair is that it is very straight. For many girls out there, this would be an absolute dream but it causes me a lot of unnecessary hassle and I can spend a lot of time faffing around before leaving the house. Bluebeards Revenge kindly sent me three products to try from their new range including Pomade, Matt Paste and Matt Clay.

The first one I tried was Pomade. This hair product had a jelly like consistency and I was surprised that it was very easy to work with. I decided to go for more of a slick hairstyle with this product, as it gave a high-shine finish and lasting hold for a sharp, yet structured style.

Bluebeards Revenge Blogger Challenge - Bearded Couture

The second product that I used was the Matt Paste which was my favourite out of the three. I have used a similar product to this before and knew that it worked well with my hair. The paste gave my hair a lot of texture and provided that necessary volume which it naturally lacks. I didn't even have to try very hard with this product to get a style that I was happy with which is always a bonus (and also saves a lot of time)!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Joe&Johns Pocketbags - An ethical clothing enterprise *

I am really, really excited about this new collaboration. Recently, I was contacted by Joe&Johns, an ethical clothing enterprise who have created the Pocketbags. Pocketbags, are a detachable, Indian inspired garment pocket which can be swapped and changed to allow the wearer to mix up their look with ease. The great thing about this company, which stands above other new businesses, is that for every pocket sold, the founders Joe and John will provide a child in India with a school bag, helping to give back to the country which inspired them.

How lovely is that?

Joe&Johns Pocketbags Ethical Clothing Charity - Bearded Couture

I just wanted to give you a bit of background information about how the company was formed and also to let you know that they have kindly offered to provide a t-shirt and one of the Pocketbags as a competition prize on my blog! Keep an eye out as this will be live in the next few weeks!

Joe and John were inspired to make a difference after a spontaneous trip to India where they swapped their home comforts for rucksacks. During their trip, they found themselves on a sleeper train where they met a young brother and sister begging for food and small amounts of money.

After sharing their food with the young family, they spent the rest of the train ride talking and playing games with the children. But as the journey continued, reality hit home. The children were just 5 and 7 years old and the difference between these children’s lives and of many of those back in England were incomparable. Children of this age should be enjoying their life without a care in the world, however it was evident not all children had this luxury.

Joe&Johns Pocketbags Ethical Clothing Charity - Bearded Couture

Monday, 20 July 2015

Sitges Gay Pride 2015

This post has been a longgg time coming. I should have written it weeks ago, way before my London Pride 2015 blog post, but I have been so busy at work as I received a promotion and I have finally moved house to Clapham *wooo*. Now I am more settled, I thought it was about time to write a follow up post about my holiday in Sitges

So, around four or five weeks ago now, me and all of the boys went to Sitges Gay Pride for the second year running. As you can tell we absolutely love it there. We flew out on the Tuesday bright and early and landed around 11am. The weather felt like we were still in London as it wasn't very warm and it was raining. Not what we paid for. However, we weren't disheartened and still spent the day by the pool, shaking, pretending it was warm.

Sitges Gay Pride 2015 - Bearded Couture

Later on in the day, the sun finally decided to make an appearance and we ventured to the town centre for some food. The first night I had a really nice rump steak and a couple of cold beers - it was amazing. After, we slowly strolled back to the hotel, taking selfies and group photos of our not so sunkissed, day 1, holiday tans. 

Sitges Gay Pride 2015 - Bearded Couture

Sitges Gay Pride 2015 - Bearded Couture

Our first night out was incredible. All of the photos were quite blurred though so unfortunately I don't have any to share so you'll just have to believe me. We all woke up with horrible hangovers but got ready and ventured to the gay beach for some sea, sun, tanning and beer. My favourite things. This was generally our day time routine, so I won't bore you with repetition in this post. For dinner we went to an Italian on the seafront but the service was shocking. They didn't give me my food with everyone else but when it finally came out, it was the wrong order. I tried to complain but there was a language barrier and she made me pay anyway. Rude haha. Anyway, again we got ready, did pres and then went out. However, this night I went skinny dipping. I have never felt so liberated and wanted to do it every night for the rest of the week but then we got told off by a lifeguard so we gave up trying.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Things to do in the picturesque town of Sitges, Barcelona

If anyone wants to go on holiday to a picturesque seaside town, then Sitges is the place for you. Situated 30 minutes south west of Barcelona airport, Sitges offers something for everyone. 

Whether this be for families with young or older children, a clubbing holiday or a romantic getaway, this pretty little town will blow you away by its beaches, history and also the people who live there. Sitges is also well known for it's LGBT friendly environment and embraces Gay Prides every year.

Sitges - A gay holiday in Spain - Bearded Couture

I have been to Sitges two years in a row now and loved each time more and more. For both of my visits, my friends and I stayed in Melia Sitges. This stunning 4 star hotel is a 15 minute coastal walk from the main hustle and bustle of the town centre and amazing beaches. With lovely views, posh rooms and extremely friendly staff, this hotel was worth every penny. Also, if you sign up to the rewards scheme, you get a discount if you decide to return again.

Sitges - A gay holiday in Spain - Bearded Couture

Friday, 3 July 2015

Elliot Rhodes Covent Garden Store Experience - Review *

Last week I received a lovely email from Elliot Rhodes asking if I would like to come in to have the store experience and get to know the brand. Obviously I replied straight away as I absolutely love Elliot Rhodes and have admired their amazing collection of belts and buckles for ages. 

Elliot Rhodes Covent Garden Store Experience - Bearded Couture

The founder, Justin Rhodes, opened his first store in 2004 and has expanded rapidly to form three central London stores, a concession stand at Harrods and also a store overseas in Japan. Each store has it's own on-site measuring service, where the wonderful staff personally fit your chosen belt to size. They also do all size alterations free of charge, so it doesn't matter if you gain or lose a few pounds. Perfect for Christmas eh.

Elliot Rhodes Covent Garden Store Experience - Bearded Couture