the AIM cake

AIM cake 1So as I’m on a management grad scheme, I have to do lots of personal development and I’ve just finished an Achieve, Inspire, Motivate (AIM) course at work. It was a one day a month deal, looking at how to motivate people, build a team, manage performance and much more management lingo besides.

Perhaps the most useful aspect was what we covered in our first day: the concept of personality colours. To give you a quick run down, there are four basic personality colours: red, blue, green and yellow. Everybody has elements of all 4, but you will have a preferred colour, and that determines what you’re typically like on a good day, and also what you’re like on a bad day.AIM cake 2For example, my preferred colour is green. On a good day, I am caring, helpful, relaxed and encouraging; I think about others and try to make them happy. On a bad day, I am stubborn, reliant, take a looooong time to decide anything and worry about what people think of me.

My opposite colour is red. People with a preference for red are assertive, direct, don’t mess around and just want to get things done right now. On the flipside, they can be aggressive, intolerant and controlling. As you can imagine, red and green people have a tendency to rub each up the wrong way if they’re both having bad days. 😛 Continue reading

Ben & Jerry’s style cookie dough ice cream

IMG_7696What glorious weather we’ve been having in what has ultimately been a really sad week for the people of Manchester, the UK, and well, the world 😦IMG_7636I can’t not mention it really, and I know there are lots of injustices the world over, every day, but that particular one last week literally hit very close to home. The thing to focus on I guess is how the community of Manchester came together; so many stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help each other, which shone a little light in a dark few days. IMG_7667IMG_7707Also, give blood! {- but in the right way} There were understandably lots of people wanting to help out after the attack, queuing outside donor centres in Manchester. Whilst their intentions were {incredibly} well placed, most people don’t realise that blood takes a while to process, so any that was used to treat the victims of the attack was from donors who gave a few weeks ago. What we need are more new and regular donors: did you know only 3% of the UK population who can donate, do? IMG_7653 Continue reading

orange + poppy seed cupcakes

IMG_7571IMG_7499IMG_7572Mes amis, did you enjoy Eurovision on Saturday night? We had a party as uni tradition now dictates, with every guest assigned a country to support until the bitter end. I had Belgium, and decorated myself with cardboard cutouts of beer and chocolate; the boyf had Denmark, so ended up with bacon and Lego 😛

It was a great night as per usual. Exam season is drawing nearer for all those still at university so it’s good to get everyone together to blow off some steam and celebrate sparkles, yodeling and questionable dance moves.  Continue reading

garlic bread

fullsizeoutput_203cfullsizeoutput_203aHappy Easter, all! I’m at home, the Easter bunny has been and I may or may not have eaten chocolate for breakfast. The four-day-weekend is truly a glorious thing.fullsizeoutput_2037I have a bread recipe to share with you today. I made these garlic rolls last weekend to go alongside our Sunday dinner of summer veg pasta {really recommend that recipe, I’ve made it a couple of times now}. It was the perfect sunny day bake. Minimal effort required – so I could read and sunbathe on the roof whilst all the proving was going on – but maximum garlic goodness. fullsizeoutput_2040fullsizeoutput_2036

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Easter nest {lemon + coconut} bundt cake

Easter bundt (4)Geez, the recipe names around here just keep on growing 😉

This deceptively simple and appropriately Easter-themed cake comes from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I was cruising through Pinterest last weekend and wondering what to bake, saw this, and thought ‘I’m not even going to try and come up with something new, I’m just going to make that‘. Easter bundt (1)I’m a bundt novice, for sure, and the past few have sadly ended in disaster. They’ve all tasted good but half of them have stayed in the tin. Case in point: I most recently made a lime and zucchini one for one of my workmate’s last days, which looked more like a pile of green crumbs and white icing than a cake – and that was before the bus journey. Easter bundt (7)Easter bundt (5) Continue reading

matcha blondies

Matcha Blondies | Tolley BakesMatcha blondie mix, ready for baking | Tolley BakesFirst day of spring, my arse.

I’ve got the day off work today so I went to a café this morning to edit the photos for this post and watched in dismay as the rain came howling down, a few times horizontally into the window. Matcha powder | Tolley BakesMatcha blondies (or matchies!) | Tolley BakesThat being said, I really love this time of year though, when the magnolia trees are all in bloom, there are tiny little neon green leaves on hedges and velvety buds on trees.

And -awesome segue alert- speaking of green, here we have the greenest blondies you’ve ever seen. Swamp brownies, basically.Matcha Blondie Mix | Tolley BakesMatchies | Tolley Bakes Continue reading