Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Earl grey tea cupcakes

On Saturday I decided to try something different when I was baking. I found a recipe in The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days recipe book for earl grey tea cupcakes and thought I would try it seeing as I had never baked with tea before and it sounded interesting. I was pleasantly surprised with outcome and I took a few photos along the way so I could share the recipe with you.

(Makes 24 cupcakes)
For the sponge~
3 earl grey tea bags
3 tbsp just-boiled water
80g (3oz) unsalted butter, softened
280g (10oz) caster sugar
240g (8 1/2oz) plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
200ml whole milk
2 large eggs
For the frosting~ 
50 ml whole milk
450g icing sugar
160g unsalted butter, softened

You will also need two 12 hole cupcake tins.

1. Place the teabags in a bowl and add the just-boiled water, then leave to brew for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 190 Celsius (375 F), gas mark 5, and line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases. Use an electric mixer (or wooden spoon) to the mic the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt on a low speed until it has reached the texture of fine breadcrumbs. 

3. Pour the milk into a jug, add the eggs and whisk by hand. Add the brewed tea, squeezing every last drop from the teabags into the milk mixture, then set the teabags aside for the frosting.

4. Pour 3/4 of the milk mixture into the the main mixture and main on a low speed to combine. Then increase the speed a little until thick and smooth, add the remaining milk mixture and beat until all the ingredients have come together to form a smooth batter.

5. Divide the mixture between the paper cases, filling them 2/3 of the way. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or golden-brown, risen and springy to touch. Leave to cool before icing them.

6. While the cupcakes are cooking place the used teabags in a small bowl with the milk and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Remove the teabags and give them a good squeeze to extract maximum flavour.

7. Using an electric mixer (or wooden spoon) whisk the icing sugar with the butter on a low speed until the mixture is powdery. Pour in the tea-infused milk while mixing slowly, then increase the speed and whisk till soft and fluffy.

8. Divide the frosting between the cooled cupcakes, smoothing the tops and swirling with a palette knife. 

I hopes you enjoyed this post, I thought it would be nice to do something a little different, as it haven't done as many baking posts as I would have liked to.
<3 Ellen xxx

Saturday, 16 November 2013

#britishbloggerselection : favourite clothes shop

This weeks #britishbloggerselection is about my favourite clothes shop. 
My favourite clothes shop is New Look and I really love it! I think that a lot of the clothes are so pretty and really suit my style. It is also very affordable, which makes it my number one place to shop when in need of some clothes. I have so many clothes from New Look- I think it makes up at least half of my wardrobe alone and I thought I would share my favourites.

1. This is a gorgeous cream Peter Pan collar blouse. It has little gold buttons and I beautiful lace detailed collar. This shirt was great in the summer with skirts and shorts, but also can be teamed with a pretty jumper (with the collar showing of course) to create a lovely look in autumn as well.
2. This jumper is a shrunken knit, in a lovely teal colour. It is my favourite jumper for the colder seasons and is so easy to wear, with just some jeans and black ankle boots. It has a great fit, slightly oversized but still has lots of shape and it is so cosy.
3. These black ankle boots were featured in my October favourites, and for good reason. They are so cute and comfortable and look great with everything. I also think they are quite practical while still looking absolutely amazing and they are a must have this winter.
4. This light denim-look skater skirt is great! I love this style as it suits almost all figures and looks good with practically anything. It is really easy to wear, while still looking stylish and the colour is so versatile. I alsos think it can be worn spring to autumn (winter might be pushing it a bit but...). Wear it with thicker tights, boots and a cosy jumper and you are ready to go.
5. This shirt is beautiful, I think. It is a subtle cream colour with 3/4 length sleeves and a little collar. It has lace along the back, shoulders and arms of the top is over-sized. It is a great shirt to wear when you want to look smarter but not too dressed up and it can be worn with jeans, skirts and shorts. I love  it!
6. This dress is a light blue denim sleeveless dress with lace around the waist. It is about mid-thigh length and has a slightly floaty skirt. It is a lovely shape, making your waist look slim and your legs long.  It it a great dress for both day and night and is so pretty yet simple. I would wear it with some mint green or pink converse and an long cardigan.

So here are some of my favourite things that I have bought from New Look in the year or so. There are many others that I wanted to show you, but I thought I would draw the line at 6 otherwise we would be here for ever. I hope you liked this post and, if you have never really shopped at New Look before, it will make you think twice. You can always find something nice in there, even if it takes a while. 
<3 Ellen xxx

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Versatile Blogger Award

I was nominated for this award by the gorgeous Katie (spotsandstripes99.blogspot.co.uk)- go check out her blog as it's brilliant! I am very sorry, Katie that it's taken me so long to do this post.
He versatile blogger award is an award where each nominee nominates up to 15 of their favourite blogs to get them more recognition. It feels great to have been awarded and I feel pretty proud of myself and my little baby (my blog). 
The rules: 
Display the blog certificate on your blog
Announce your award on your blog and thank your nominee
Present up to 15 deserving bloggers with the award
Link your nominees on your post and notify them of their nomination
Share 7 interesting facts about yourself

My interesting facts:
1. I love to sing all the time, but can't sing for toffee.
2. I am way too obsessed with Harry Potter fanfiction
3. My favourite singer is Rebecca Ferguson
4. I think it would be great to be a journalist if some sort when I am older
5. Baking is my favourite thing to do, especially when I feel stressed
6. My favourite vloggers are Zoella, Pointless blog, Sprinkle of Glitter and Dolly bow bow
7. I can sing along, scarily accurately to any high school musical song 

My nominees:
Danielle and the world ( http://danielleandtheworld.blogspot.co.uk )
Ballerinas and buttons ( http://ballerinasandbuttons.blogspot.co.uk )
Inside my pocket ( http://sophiaspocket.blogspot.co.uk )
Affordable treats ( http://affordabletreats.blogspot.co.uk ) 
Little vintage camera ( http://littlevintagecamera.blogspot.co.uk )

I hoped you enjoyed this post, I was very pleased to be nominated and I hope you go and have a look at both my nominees blogs and Katie!
<3 Ellen xxx

#britishbloggerselection: about me Q&A

This weeks #britishbloggerselection is a Q&A all about me. I think this because it will be a great way for you to get to know me a little better which hopefully you will like.
1. Why do you like blogging?
I like blogging because it is really fun to write about different things that you actually want to write about (rather than just schoolwork). Also it feels like  a little documentation if my life that I will be able to look back on and see what I was like as a teenage girl. I also really love the community that blogging makes you feel a part of and doing things like #britishbloggingselection because it is so fun and it makes you feel like a part of something special. I also like the fact that there are some people who actually like to read about my opinion and my ramblings, which to me seems really strange but awesome.
2. How did you come up with your blog name?
My blog name is (obviously) Ellie May. I came up with this because my first name is Ellen and my middle name is May. I thought that shortening my name to Ellie and co binging that with my middle name sounded really cute and fun so that's what I named my blog.
3. Where in the UK do you come from?
I was born and live in the north-east of England.
4. Favourite colour?
Mint green!
5. Do you like Lana Del Ray?
Yes I do quite like her, she's a lovely singer. However, I don't listen to her very often.
6. Hidden talents that you have?
I don't really have a hidden talent, but I am pretty great at connect 4... Don't really think that counts though.
7. Celebrity crush?
I'm pretty in love with Rupert Grint, to be honest, but a lot of my crushes are very possibly fictional characters....
8. Favourite blog of all time?
I'd have to say Sprinkle of Glitter. I just love al her posts, so funny and interesting.
9. What made you want to join #britishbloggerselection?
I thought it was a really brilliant way to involve myself in a little "community" and a great way to add interest and a series-type thing to my blog. I also thought it would be really fun and would make me blog more.
That is it for all the questions! I hope that enjoyed this post and maybe know a little more about weird old me.
I have decided that I will post the #britishbloggerselction every Weekend, and then another post on Wednesday.
Next weeks theme is......favourite clothes shop!! Look forward to that next weekend.
<3 Ellen xxx


I am a lover of most social media sites, and I have just (about 5 minutes prior to writing this) made an Instagram for my blog which I am very excited about.
Instagram is great! I love how you can share moments in your life, things you have done or thought through a simple photo- afterall they say a picture is worth 1000 words. I often find that it can be creative and fun and I love looking at other peoples photos as well. 
I will be using it to update anyone who wants to know, on new blog posts and, of course, other things that may happen in my life or random thoughts. 
So if you want to check it out, my name is elliemay556
<3 Ellen

Monday, 4 November 2013

#britishbloggerselection : Halloween

This is my first #britishbloggerselectIon post and I am very excited about it! As you probably guessed the theme is Halloween.
I love Halloween! I thinks it's is a perfect excuse to dress up, experiment with makeup and have fun. Sometimes there is nothing better than getting dressed up in a spooky outfit and going completely extravagant with makeup, without worrying that it looks too much. 
Unfortunately, Halloween has already past and I was not able to do anything for it because I was away, but here is how you can get this fun, spooky cat makeup look:

1. Start by drawing whiskers and a nose

2. Use an eyeliner pencil on your water line and tight line.

3. Create a winged, cat eye look using liquid eye line. Go under your eye with a little black eyeshadow to create a smudgy effect.

4. Using a subtle gold (or silver) eyeshadow, cover your whole lid, going all the way up to the brow.

5. Use a dark, shimmery purple eyeshadow on the lid, creating a flick to add a more "catty" look to your eye.

That is the finished look! Just add a black clothes, back combed hair, a bold red lip and cat ears and you will have a look perfect for any fancy dress party.

I hoped you like my first #britishbloggerselection post. It was a bit different to something I would usually do but I really enjoyed coming up with a more extravagant makeup look fit for Halloween. 
<3 Ellen xxx

Sunday, 3 November 2013


#britishbloggerselection is a very exciting group of over 100 British bloggers that I found out about from a fellow blogger (www.spotsandstripes99.blogspot.co.uk). 
It was started by a great blogger called Ellie (www.littlevintagecamera.blogspot.co.uk) and is a great way to feel like a part of a blogging community and give more recognition to British bloggers.
Every week, the bloggers involved are given a theme and then can blog about whatever you want related to theme- it sounds so exciting and fun so I had to sign up and I can't wait to get involved.
The great news is that as long as you are a British blogger, anyone can sign up- just contact Ellie with your full name, blog name and blog URL and you can participate. You don't even need to participate every week, just when the theme interests you etc. 
This weeks theme is............
I am very excited about having my first theme and can't wait to write about it- be expecting that post in the next couple of days.
I hope that you sign up to this if you can and that you're excited about #britishbloggerselection that will mean I have a new feature in my blog.
<3 Ellen xxx

October favourites

Another month is over, and there has been quite a few things that have loved in October that I thought I would share with you. I would also like to apologise in advance for the bad photo quality.

The first thing is Sunshine on Leith, which was out in the cinemas recently and is a wonderful musical based on songs by The Proclaimers. It is such a great film that has a just the right amount if comedy and emotion involved and is about two men who have come home, to Edinburgh, after fighting on Afghanistan. This film just made me so happy, and I will definitely be getting the DVD when it comes out. 

The great British bake off ended in October and I really loved the series. It is such a fun, exciting series and is so British and full off baking (obviously) so naturally I love it. Every week was good episode and I always had something to talk about with my friends the next day. I love this programme and can't wait for the next series- if you haven't watched it before. I definitely recommend it!

I rekindled my love for slippers last month, and even though my slippers are past their best, they are so warm and cosy and heaven after a long day. My slippers are from accessorize and I love the style of them and comfort that they provide for me through the colder months. I will definitely be getting my hands on some more from accessorize when mine have fallen apart once and for all.

I have also loved my little black ankle boots in the past month. They are so cute, but practical for autumn/winter as well which is always a must have. These boots are from NewLook and I love he style as they look great with jeans, dresses and skirts and so good for this season. I have literally worn them all October and plan on getting a lot more use out of them over the next few months. 

I have also been loving this lovely Parker from NewLook which is oversized and vintage-look. It has a cosy fur hood, and is so warm, I can't stop wearing it (even indoors). It is a khaki colour which makes it very practical and autumnal, but also means you can wear it with loads of different things. Parker's are very popular this year and you can find them anywhere so it is definitely worth having a look.

The final thing that is in my October favourites is the Rimmel I <3 lasting finish nail polishes. They are great colours and really long lasting too. I have two different shades. One is in the colour double decker red, which is a gorgeous bright, bold red- a great colour for autumn. The other is in the colour disco ball and is a glitter polish which makes a great over coat for a more exciting nail look that is very seasonal. Put the two colours together and you get a very fun, festive look which will be great for December (yay)!

That is everything that I loved in December, I'm sorry that there weren't really any beauty products but I haven't discovered or rediscovered anything recently. I hope you enjoyed this post and had a good October. 
What have you been loving recently? 
<3 Ellen xxx