25 July 2015

I Won!!!

Last month I entered the TopModel Fashion Poser competition which is part of the monthly Topmodel magazine. The fashion poser contest is a designing comp where you are given a brief telling you what you have to design (it also gives you a few ideas for what you could draw). You always have to draw your design for a particular occasion, this time the occasion was a rainbow party! You can see my entry on the left! You are given a plain template to draw on and colour in. There are no clothes on the model already, you have to draw all of that yourself. The model (Liv) is wearing a sprinkle patterned tee, a light blue skater skirt, multi-coloured bangles and chunky black ankle boots. The top part of Liv's hair was already printed on but I drew the side braid/plait myself (it has taken me years to figure out how to draw these and so I'm really proud of this one) and I left gaps to make it look like light was reflecting off of her jet black hair. I used a purple pencil and a TopModel natural pink coloured pencil to create her makeup look! I used Caran d'Ache coloured pencils for most of this design but I also used stabilo coloured fineliners and pinline balck fineliners for small details of this outfit.

Recently, after sending off my rainbow party design, a mysterious parcel arrived in the post. It was massive and I was so excited to see it because I had no idea what it was at the time! I tore open the box and then I saw the TopModel bag that was inside! I quickly took the envelope off of the front of the box and opened it up, ready for a big surprise! This is the letter that arrived (photo on the right)! It was from TopModel and it was saying that I had won their recent contest! I was overjoyed! I love entering this
contest every month so this was an
awesome surprise to receive in the post!

When I opened the parcel I saw a gorgeous bright TopModel branded bag which just caught my eye straight away! The contents were even better than the bag itself though...a stationary set and creative set were inside the bag! I absolutely love both of the TopModel products! If you were to buy these items, you would have to pay £26.99 for the stationary set and would have to pay £8.99 for the creative set! You can buy them online or in local shops.

You can make a phone pouch with the creative set. I love this kit because it is quite hard to find phone cases for my phone (I mean they're out there but you would have to buy them online unlike iphone cases which can be found pretty much anywhere). Everything you need is in the kit (even the needle is included). I'm really looking forward to making the phone pouch at some point in my Summer holiday, this creative set is a perfect boredom buster and there are lots of other creative sets on offer from TopModel if you want to buy your own!


Everything about this stationary set is awesome (from the obvious down to the labels). Seriously the labels are gorgeous. the price tag says I 'heart' TopModel and looks greats amongst the other labels. The fabric labels say things like catwalk, high heels and TopModel. There is also a glitzy heart charm which is so awesome.Anyway, the ACTUAL product is cool too (xD)! The outside is glittery and has a drawing of one of the models on it. This product is actually quite big for a stationary set but I like the folder size of it. There is a reason for the size too, this set contains SO much stationary! This will be perfect for school! When you first unzip the folder, you can see loads of bright felt tips, a gluestick and scissors. What I love about this first layer is the mirror and blank timetable, this will be so handy! When you fold back the right section, you can see a set of coloured pencils, a rubber, a sharpener, 2 pencils and maths equipment. There is also a pouch for whatever you want and a place for your pen to go. 

Thank you so much to TopModel for choosing me as one of the ten winners for this fashion poser-I love my prizes (and it's not quite over yet...)! If you want to see my winning entry again then make sure you check out the next few issues of TopModel magazine (its's a great magazine and is sold every month in Sainsburys and other stores), it would be great if you guys could see it! I wonder which winning design will be 'Liv's favourite'?!?

24 July 2015

Lemon 'Cheese' Cake and Mojito Mocktail Recipes for Summer

Hi guys! Today I'll be sharing two Summer recipes with you that you can try out. These recipes are from my Auntie Beverly and are perfect for an afternoon tea party so I hope that have a go yourself!

Here is the recipe for the lemon 'cheese' cake. The reason it is called lemon 'cheese' cake is because it isn't actually a cheesecake however it has a lemon cheesecake flavour. You can see the cake in the photo above, it looks so pretty and delicious!


For the cake:
1600g golden caster sugar
160g butter or margerine, softened
3 large eggs
160g SR Flour
zest 1 lemon

For the syrup:

2 tblsp icing sugar
juice 1 lemon

For the frosting:

2 x 250g tubs mascarpone cheese
1 tblsp (heaped) icing sugar
2 tblsp (heaped) good quality lemon curd
A few strawberries for decoration


Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4

Line the base and sides (using baking parchment) of two 20cm round cake tin.
Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the egg, one at a time, beating after each addition. If the mixture curdles add a spoonful of the flour each time.
Fold in the rest of the flour and the lemon zest.
Tip into the tins, level the top, then bake for 25-30 mins or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Whilst baking, prepare the syrup.
In a small pan mix the icing sugar and the lemon juice together, heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat. When cakes are baked, remove from oven and whilst still in the tin prick gently with a fork then spoon over the syrup as evenly as possible. Leave in the tin to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
Prepare frosting by beating together all ingredients
Let the cake cool completely. Sandwich together, using about 1/3 of the frosting. Cover the top and sides with frosting. Pipe decoration around the base. Place prepared half strawberries around the side of the cake above the piping and use any left over frosting to pipe above the strawberries.

Yum! Lemon ‘cheese’ cake.

Now that you have a great Summer cake, you can make yourself a refreshing drink. This is the recipe for a mojito mocktail (a mocktail is suitable for anyone because it doesn't contain alcohol). You can see the mocktail on the photo above. Here is the recipe:

MAKES ABOUT 4 to 6 Mocktails

To make the cordial:
2 tblsp sugar
Small bunch of mint
7 limes

To serve:
Ice cubes (lots)
Low calorie Indian tonic water with cucumber (Tesco)
Sprig of mint
Slice of lime

A straw, umbrella, cocktail swizzle stick etc.


Muddle the sugar with the leaves picked from a small bunch of mint using a pestle and mortar (or use a small bowl and the end of a rolling pin). The idea is to release the oils and flavour from the leaves using the sugar as an abrasive. Add the juice of the limes and pour into a plastic container (with lid), place in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.

Remove from fridge and strain into a jug.

Place crushed ice into glasses. Divide the cordial and top up with tonic water. Add a sprig of fresh mint, a slice of lime and a straw. Decorate with umbrella if you wish and enjoy.

I hope you all have a great Summer and try out these amazing recipes! Let me know in the comments if you have any Summer recipes to share! 

20 July 2015

Read With Your Cuppa' #3

Meal to Try
Enchiladas are a delicious Mexican dish. They are tortilla wraps which are typically filled with chunks of chicken, peppers and some spicy salsa. Once they are wrapped and arranged in a tray, salsa is spread across the top of all of them and then cheese is sprinkled across them which melts as it cooks in the oven. To be served, the enchiladas are separated and placed onto a place with side dishes. I personally serve them with humous and salted tortilla chips/nachos.

Fashion Trend             

Emojis are a big trend right now and not just on texts. Wherever you go, you're bound to see these emojis printed all over clothes. On the left you can see a week in emojis on a top from primark, which is £6.You can also buy several other fashionable emoji covered clothes in Primark.

Interesting Fact  

According to NASA, ice-cream is one of the 3 items most missed by astronauts while in space. The others are pop and pizza. We all love ice-cream! Don't we?

Fun Activity

Take the time to draw your own fashion designs. It's best if you have template books so you can draw your clothes on models but you can just freehand your clothes if you want to. Grab scraps of fabric, ribbons and a handful of buttons that you want to base your sketch on then carefully select pencils of similar shades to your desired materials then start drawing. You can be inspired by your favourite items in your closet or perhaps the mos recent trends (or whatever floats your boat). The possibilities are endless! Let me know in the comments if you want to see a fashion designing post full of tips, my designs and anything else that would be helpful or interesting.

Songs to Listen To
Here are some songs you might like-some for their catchy tunes and some for their lyrics...
.Someone Like you-the Summer Set
.Black Magic-Little Mix
.Party in the U.S.A.-Miley Cyrus
.Can't Remember to Forget you-Shakira, Rihanna
.Higher-The Saturdays

18 July 2015

Fortune Cookie Book Review

A little while ago I held a poll where you could choose what post you would like to see on my blog and the result was a book review! So today I'll be reviewing the book Fortune Cookie by Cathy Cassidy, a relatively new book in the Chocolate Box series (it's the last in the series). Hopefully, you'll decide to buy this book for yourself (if you haven't already) or agree with what I say (if you have read it already).

When you first see the title of this book, you are cleverly fooled into thinking it is another book about Cherry (or perhaps her mother) because of the Japanese link (fortune cookies are from Japan and China) however it is actually about Jake Cooke, a new character who was briefly introduced at the end of Sweet Honey-the previous book. Honey has discovered that she has a half brother (Jake) and immediately tries to get in touch with him which slowly but surely succeeds! At first Jake (known as Cookie) mistakes Honey Tanberry's letters as tricks to get his family's money, not that they are exactly rich, living in a flat above a restaurant in Chinatown. However, as more and more proof is sent amongst Honey's persuading words, Cookie's doubt begins to fade away. Jake's home life is tight enough so it's the last straw for Jake when another crisis happens in their little flat, it's at this tense moment that Jake turns to his half-sister Honey for help, he has a trick up his sleeve to save his Mum and siblings from certain doom.

I think that Fortune Cookie is a great way to complete the chocolate box series and answers some long awaited problems. I feel satisfied at the end of the series when all of the Tanberry-Costello sisters have a better outlook on life and have all of their hopes and dreams (no pun intended :) in front of them. Jake thought that his newly found half-sisters were going to help him but it seems like he helped them even more. Although I think the character development of Jake Cooke was brilliant, the arrival of this new character just made me more interested in what was happening in the sisters lives, in a good way. The story was definitely focused on Cherry and Honey (as well as Jake of course) which was great because they are 2 of my favourite sisters but I think it would have been even better if we saw more of the other 3 sisters (Skye, Summer and Coco) to resolve their problems and see what was happening in their lives as well as reading about the main event of the book. Overall I loved this book and would give it 8 stars out of 10. Cathy Cassidy did a fantastic job of finishing up the series and I was practically glued to this book for about a week. I'll really miss Tanglewood but I guess I'll just read the Chocolate Box Secrets! The only reason it is 8 stars out of ten is rather than 10, is because I prefer Cherry Crush and Marshmallow Skye slightly more than this final book. I would highly recommend this book as a Summer read for the school holidays as it is extremely gripping!

I hope you all enjoyed reading this book review of Fortune Cookie form one of my favourite authors Cathy Cassidy! Tell me what you think in the comments, I would love to hear your own verdict of the final book in the fantastic series set in Somerset.

14 July 2015

How to Prepare for a Talk/Presentation!

Image result for wikihow logoHi guys! Today I will be showing you my tips on how to prepare for a Talk/Presentation. I submitted this as a WikiHow post and it took me such a long time to write so I decided to make the most of it and post it here too! I hope you like it! If you want to see more in-depth tutorials on here, let me know in the comments (perhaps next time I could tell you something about fashion design). This post should be helpful if you are preparing for a test at school or if you need to do a talk at work! Here we go!

 1. If you get the choice of what subject your talk is about then choose something you are passionate about because you need to know lots of information about it for your presentation to be detailed and clear. A good topic for a talk is one of your hobbies that you take part in often and have done for a few years. However, if you don't have the choice of what topic to talk about make sure that you do plenty of research. It may seem like a dull topic to you but you need to find what interesting facts there are about it so that you don't seem bored when presenting the talk.

2. Write down notes about what you're going to say in each part of your talk. To start out, you need a simple structure. An effective structure can consist of an introduction and 4 other sections. If you are doing a talk about one of your hobbies, a good section 4 is how to start this hobby for a beginner (e.g Fashion Designing Tips for Beginners) which is a great sum up of the information you have talked about previously which is adapted to be easy for beginners.

3. Now you need to prepare a visual aid. Contrary to popular belief, powerpoints can be a brilliant visual aid for behind you as you talk. Many people argue that having a powerpoint behind you as you talk can ruin the whole presentation because you are constantly looking at the screen, rather than your audience. Additionally, it is often said that that presenters end up reading off of the screen (as well as their audience) and it isn't so much of a visual aid but more of a  bunch of text on the screen. Part of doing a good presentation is communicating with your audience so this is why lots of people swear against powerpoints. Nevertheless, powerpoints have the ability to be great! You just need to remember the word 'visual'. A powerpoint is just a visual aid so shouldn't have tons of text on it, it can have images, video and effects to aid what you're saying. Visual aids help the audience process what you are saying and remind them of the point you are making therefore visual aids are a must and powerpoints can be effective! Make sure you still use eye contact when you are presenting rather than looking at the screen constantly to look like you are actually talking to your audience instead of just reeling off words.

4. As well as eye contact, there are many other things you need to consider while you are carrying out your presentation besides the words you are saying and the visual aids you are showing. You want people to find your talk interesting and it's not just about what you are saying! Many people tend to pick up a monotone while they have been talking for a long duration of time (such as when they carry out a talk) which can be extremely tiring for the audience to listen to and although they may appear to be listening, several have probably switched off. To avoid this, you need to change the pitch of your voice as you speak to show expression. You can emphasize important or surprising facts and figures to regain people's attention. To illustrate your point, it can help if you do hand movements. When you are describing an image on the screen you can point towards it etc. To look friendly, approachable and interested, make sure you're stood upright with your back straight as a pose to being slumped and shy, your posture is important too.

5. When you think you are ready to come up with what you want to say you can make cue cards. Cue cards are brilliant because they only have a few key notes on them to prompt you. You should keep eye contact with your audience at most times so reading a lot of text at a time means that you  are constantly looking down, cue cards are a great solution for that problem! You should number your cue cards so that you know what order to read them in. Perhaps a queue card for each section (including the introduction) would work best?

6. Choose a video that fits the theme of your presentation. The video should be about 2-3 minutes long because if it is too long then it can become quite tedious but on the other hand, if it too short then there isn't a long enough break between you talking. A short video can be the time where you prepare yourself for the rest of your talk and it can act as a break for the audience where they can don't have to concentrate on what you're saying so much (often class talks are not only speaking tests for the presenters, but also listening tests for the audience). The video has to be relevant to your topic (obviously) but it can explain something that you have been struggling to put into words (if you would like). If you want it to be easy to listen to, it should have background music, quick bullet points explained briefly and images on the screen. The good thing about including a video is that you can have a break from creating content. If you are doing a presentation at school you need to be sure that the video can actually be played when you arrive.

With these tips, your talk will be a hit!