Sunday, 21 August 2016

Let's Bake: Badass White Chocolate Rice Crispy Cake

If there's one thing you all should know about my boyfriend it is that he makes the best rice crispy cake known to man. Seriously. I know what you're probably thinking, that it's really not a difficult treat to conjure up in the kitchen and that even a three year old can make crispy cake, but there's something about Jordan's recipe that is actually magical. The ingredients are super interchangeable, this time we've used Crunchie Rocks and Oreo, but we've used stuff like Biscoff and Creme Egg in the past too. If you're already thinking about what you're going to take to a Macmillan Coffee Morning next month, or if you just fancy something sweet to snack on whilst you're watching a movie, this crispy cake has you covered. 

What you need:

  • 4 bars of white cooking chocolate (Jordan says "you always need more than you think")
  • 1/2 box of Rice Krispies (or a cheap supermarket knock-off if you're like us)
  • 1 handful of sultanas
  • whatever other filling you fancy
  • some greaseproof paper
  • 1 baking tray
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • a fridge will come in handy too

How to make it:
  1. Break up your chocolate into a bowl and microwave for 1 minute at a time until melted. Whilst that is melting away, pop some greaseproof paper into a baking tray.
  2. Once that's all sorted, start adding sultanas and Rice Krispies into the chocolate. Do this gradually and keep mixing as you go. 
  3. After that, add in your extra filling and mix thoroughly. 
  4. Pop your mixture into the baking tray and let it set in fridge for a few hours.
Please let me know if you give this recipe a go, it may be basic but it certainly isn't boring and if you're a sweet tooth you will likely find that this stuff is to die for. Happy baking!

Friday, 19 August 2016

Whitby & Robin Hood's Bay

A few weeks ago on a rather cloudy Saturday Jordan and I decided to hop in the car and venture about an hour and a bit down the A19. Somehow, I'd gone 21 years living in the North East without ever visiting Whitby or Robin Hood's Bay, two gloriously charming sea side towns in the North Yorkshire area.

We started our day having a wander around Whitby Harbour. It really intrigued me to see how the two sides of the town differ, one was more commercialised and the other was full of small, cobbled streets and housed the Abbey on top of a rather large hill (which we lazily decided not to climb that day - although it is on my to do list). The smell of the seaside paired with the wonky, cobbled streets and the fact that Bram Stoker conjured up the idea for Dracula in Whitby made me fall so deeply in love with the town.

After exploring the older side of the Harbour for a while we ventured back across the bridge to find something for lunch. We ended up opting for Quayside, after reading that it had won numerous fish and chip shop awards and being further drawn in by that quintessentially British smell of batter. If you take anything at all away from this post, just promise me that if you ever visit Whitby, you will get your fish and chips from Quayside. There are an abundance of other offerings down the same street, but honestly they were the best fish and chips that I've ever had in my life. I got the child size portion which was reasonably priced and just enough to fill the hole in my tummy.

A few hours later we hopped back in the car and travelled a further 10 minutes to Robin Hood's Bay. Let me tell you, even though walking up the hill to get out of the village will make your things burn like a mother fucker, visiting this place is so worth the cardio. Robin Hood's Bay takes 'picturesque' to a whole new level and is the most wonderful, tiny place that I have ever visited. The beach is about ten times bigger than the village! There are loads of old bookshops and cafes nestled into the crooked little streets, and to make the whole thing even more picturesque, there's a stream that runs right through the centre of the place! Robin Hood's Bay really does feel like the land that time forgot and if you're any kind of history nerd like me, that alone will make you adore it. I really want to rent one of the cottages one summer and spend my days at the beach and my nights doing the ghost walk.

Jordan and I have already decided that we're going to wrap up warm and go back to Whitby around Christmas time. I'd like to return to Robin Hood's Bay during the festive season too, however I seriously doubt that I'd be able to climb the hill out of the town in icy weather considering I could barely do it in August, so that may have to wait until next year. This day really made me value the hidden gems of the North East of England/North Yorkshire, and now I'm eager to explore even more. Can you believe I've never actually been to York? I think that's next on the list.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

4 Everyday Struggles With Acrylic Nails

After spending 21 whole years without ever even stepping foot in a nail salon, I'm finally on board the gel/acrylic nail bandwagon. I got gel nails for my graduation, and then during my last trip to the salon I decided to take the plunge and get acrylics. Even though I'm still not over just how pretty they look (don't know how I'm ever gonna be happy with my natural nails again), I didn't realise just how much they'd impact my ability to function like a normal human in everyday life.

1. Putting my hair in a ponytail got one hell of a lot harder

I really bloody admire people who get claw-like acrylics. Mine aren't even that long yet I can't seem to put my hair up without trapping one of my nails underneath the bobble!

2. I'm typing like a middle aged woman

You know how mams and aunties are prone to that one finger typing thing? It seems that I have adopted that in my quest for Instagram worthy nails. I may look like I'm technologically challenged, but hey, at least my nails look nice.

3. Buttons and buckles are the enemy

Why does nobody talk about how hard it is to do up a buckle on your shoe when you have acrylics?! Maybe it's just me being incapable of daily tasks, but it really did take me double the usual amount of time to put my shoes on last Saturday.

4. I can't press buttons without risking some serious pain

Okay so this one might just be me, but often when I press buttons (lift, seat belt, you name it) I keep doing some weird bend-nail-backwards thing that stings like a bitch. Please say I'm not alone in this?

Silliness aside, I now totally understand the hype around acrylics. Yes, they may be killing my nails, and I'm kind of nervous to have them removed, but I am a convert. So, North East people out there, let me know which nail bar in the region is your favourite - I might need to hit it up.

PS: If you're in the mood for a bit of a giggle, I made a 'Guys Try False Nails For The First Time' video as part of my dissertation. Here's the link if you fancy checking it out.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Hello, Stranger.

Remember me? I ran away from blogging last September, overwhelmed by lots of life changes and the start of my final year at university. Almost 365 days (and some words of encouragement) later, I've decided to blow the dust off Talking About M and give it a new little lease of life. All of my (awfully cringey) old posts have gone to the big blog in the sky, and I'm ready to write lots of (awfully cringey) new posts. I think the reason why I was so hesitant to come back to blogging was the fact that in the midst of my babblings about beauty and book reviews, Talking About M was very much about my life...and literally every aspect of my life has changed since last September. I'm not even being dramatic (for once). So, in order to get you all up to speed (if you're even still reading, or if you're like 'who the hell are you?!'), here is a bad attempt at trying to sum up the last year. I'm going to use bullet points to try my very best to make this coherent.

  • I went through a break up.
  • I started my third and final year of a Fashion Journalism degree, and started my dissertation.  
  • I got a new boyfriend. He's called Jordan and is very lovely. You will meet him soon. 
  • It was Christmas. 
  • I went to work at Marie Claire for two weeks which made me fall madly in love with London Town and even more in love with journalism. I didn't want to come home. 
  • I moved in with my boyfriend. 
  • Interviewed for the Beauty Assistant role at Marie Claire AKA what could have been the best graduate job ever. Almost moved to London. Had no money to do so. Was very sad for a while about it all. Still am, a little bit. 
  • I turned 21!
  • Dissertation deadline loomed. People stopped calling me 'Megan' and started calling me 'Demon Stress Girl'. Probably. 
  • I finished my third year of university and found out that I was graduating with First Class Honours. I cried, Jordan cried, my Mam cried, the dog wondered why the hell everyone was crying.
  • I graduated (YAY) and won the award for Best Print or Online Journalism Student, which was nice.
  • I interviewed for a new job at a wonderful place called the MediaHub and ONLY WENT AND BLOODY GOT IT. I start on the 5th September, much excite. 
  • I handed in my notice at The Walt Disney Company and hung up my Cast Member hat (more like gingham shirt and horrific beige trousers). It was the right time for me to embark on my Big Girl Actual Media Person career, but my god did I cry like a baby when I left my Disney Store for the last time. 
I think that's everything. It really doesn't look like much sat there in list form but believe me IT WAS.

If you'd like to have a peruse of my dissertation you can find it at Never in my life have I ever poured so much into one project and to graduate with a First was the highest level of accomplishment that my little heart had ever felt. I'm still pinching myself to this day. 

Let's kick the 'beauty blog' label away from Talking About M, please. I can't be arsed to write about mascaras and foundations and eyeliner every other day anymore, it's just not who I am now. I want to write about what I want to write about, and that's what I'm going to do. Does that make sense? Can you tell I'm rusty?

I'm going to say that new posts will be up three times a week. I have a little bit of time off before starting work so I'm going to channel my efforts into stockpiling some content during those weeks to take the load off before I begin working full time. I can't wait to make Talking About M an 'everything' blog. It really does feel good to be back. I hope you're happy to have me.