March

Feeling a little overwhelmed. 

Wearing my dungarees all the damn time. 

Loving the lighter nights and the bursts of sunshine we’ve been having. 

Cooking a couple of roast dinners. 

Getting my bridesmaid on and organising a hen do! 

Celebrating my new tumble dryer! Adulting at its best… 

Buying our new car (can you tell we’re nesting?). 

Laughing until I cried at the All Killa No Filla live show. 

Lathering this moisturiser on now that I’ve got a proper bump! 

Trying to practice a bit more self care

Moving a lot slower than before! 

Feeling baby kicking more and more every day but… 

Stressing when I don’t feel him quite so much! It’s a rollercoaster, this pregnancy lark. 

Learning more about copywriting with the wonderful Elly

Watching Ali Wong’s Baby Cobra, Garfunkel & Oates, and Big Little Lies

Taking some of my favourite Instagram pictures of all time. 

Starting the countdown to maternity leave… 

Receiving a wonderful email letter from my Grandad about this post

Scoffing Mini Eggs. It’s basically compulsory at this time of year. 

Going on a pizza date with Paul at Pizza Fella

Winning the work bake off! (At long last…) 

How about you? 

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5 Things I’ve Learnt About Self Care in Pregnancy

Self Care in Pregnancy // Amy Elizabeth

This weekend, self care looked a whole lot like caterpillar cake. Like any good grammar school girl, I’ve always put a lot of pressure on myself to be ‘perfect’, which tends to mean bringing freshly baked goods whenever I visit someone’s house, or invite someone to mine. This weekend, though, I gave myself permission to buy a cake instead – a birthday caterpillar cake for the birthday girl in question. Cake is cake, after all, and after two nights of broken sleep and a hectic week at work, I just couldn’t bring myself to drag myself into the kitchen. And you know what? The world didn’t burn to the ground. My friends didn’t love me any less. And we still ate cake. 

Being pregnant has been a game changer in so many ways, but it’s really made me take a step back and prioritise self care. In the original sense of the word – not bubble baths and scented candles and manicures, but remembering to eat, getting some basic exercise and all that jazz. You know, the stuff that actually keeps you alive and able to function. As someone who has previously enjoyed good health, both physical and mental, it’s been a bit of a learning curve and I suspect it will only become more so as this baby makes himself more at home. 

Work with your body, not against it

I’ve always been able to ‘push’ myself on the occasions that I’ve needed to; whether that’s late nights or early mornings for work or play, I’ve been able to ignore what my body’s telling me if I’ve needed to. Obviously that’s not a sustainable strategy for life, so it’s not been something I’ve done much – but I could if I wanted to. Now? I just can’t without suffering the consequences quite severely. Me and my body have had to become a bit of a team, working together rather than against each other. Things are a lot easier if I give my body what it wants and needs, even if that means missing out on a night or two. 

You really, really can’t do everything

I didn’t expect growing a baby to take up so much time and effort. I kind of thought it was going to take place in the background, and I would mostly get to carry on as normal. Oh, how I laugh at poor, naive past Amy. Despite not requiring any *active* participation, your body’s going through a whole mess of stuff and I’ve definitely found myself a lot slower over the past few months, even as I’ve felt better from all the morning sickness and whatnot. I am slower at walking, at turning over in bed, and there’s so much ‘baby stuff’ to be thinking about that I’m always a little bit distracted. Gone are the days of blogging until the early hours (jk, my bedtime is always 10pm at the latest), cooking everything from scratch and packing my diary full of plans. It’s the caterpillar cake all over again. Sometimes you have to pick and choose what you can do, because you can’t do everything. 

Make fewer plans 

There are some things you just can’t avoid in life; work and chores are on the top of that list for me. I need to turn up to work every day and continue to do a good job, and I need to keep my house vaguely clean & tidy, and make sure we have some food in the cupboards every week. On top of that, other obligations are pretty much optional. Gone are the days of heading out after work every night for some such or the other event or gathering, I’ve worked out through trial and error that two is my maximum. That includes my volunteering commitments and my yoga class. And if I exceed that number for some reason (usually work meetings running late), then I need to have a free weekend or I will eventually cease to function. It’s a good reminder to give yourself some space in the calendar for rest and recuperation – and is probably applicable to pre-pregnancy Amy, too… she just tended to ignore it. 

Exercise is not optional

I have never been a big fan of exercise, in any form. I’ve tried to get into running a few times, and taken a few exercise classes here and there as an adult, but the attitude towards exercise that I developed as an awkward teen during freezing hockey lessons has pretty much stuck. It’s always been on my list of ‘one day’, but that day really needs to be right now. I felt super sick for the first few months of my pregnancy, and I feel like I’ve been super busy and hectic ever since, but it’s something I really need to make time for to stop my body from rebelling against me entirely. A weekly yoga class, at the very least, goes a long way to relieving the various aches and pains I’m currently experiencing, and I need to incorporate more stretching and whatnot into my everyday life to try and make life a little bit better for the next four months. Turns out that they’re not  entirely bullshitting when they say that exercise is good for you, after all… 

The Rule of ‘Most’

Are you eating healthily, getting some exercise, sleeping the right amount… most of the time? It can be easy to beat yourself up if you let something slip for a day or two, but if you take a wider view of things, you’re probably doing okay. A takeaway every now and again, or an occasional late night is not the end of the world as long as you follow the rule and try to do better most of the time. Over the course of a week, or a month, or a whole pregnancy? As long as you’re looking after yourself for the most part, those slip ups will fade away in the big picture.  

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All the Brownies // Brownie & Blondie Recipes

Baking is my therapy. I find it very soothing to create something out of flour, sugar and butter, surrendering to the process and then enjoying the fruits of my labour at the end of it all. Which means that I generally prefer to bake ‘easy’ things; lovely layer cakes with fancy decoration or elaborate patisserie creations rarely find their way out of my kitchen. Instead, simple bakes like brownies and blondies are my go to. They don’t involve a whole lot of brain power, or washing up, which makes them the perfect cure for what ails you. Whilst a really good fudgey brownie is a thing of beauty, sometimes it can be fun to mix it up a bit, so I’ve pulled together my favourite brownie and blondie recipes for you to try… 

Toblerone Brownies Recipe

Toblerone Brownies

Win friends and compliments with these super simple brownies. Best of all, they don’t use the whole bar, so you can still sneak a few triangles whilst you’re baking…

Rhubarb & Pistachio Blondies

Rhubarb & Pistachio Blondies

Rhubarb is my jam, and it’s still just in season – so make these quick! You could substitute for strawberries, if rhubarb is hard to come by – but you just can’t beat those beautiful pink stalks when you find them!

Mini Egg Brownies // Amy Elizabeth

Mini Egg Brownies

Mini Eggs are basically crack to me, which makes these brownies very dangerous indeed.

Vegan Coconut Brownies // Amy Elizabeth

Vegan Coconut Brownies

Don’t compromise when catering for vegan friends; these vegan brownies don’t use any unusual ingredients (by which I mean, you won’t have to make a special trip to the health food shop) and are just as fudgey as ‘regular’ brownies.

Lemon and Raspberry Blondies

Simple, summery and full of fresh raspberries that burst in every bite. Don’t give these all away, or you’ll regret it!

Dark & Stormy Brownies - Rum and Ginger Brownies // Amy Elizabeth

Dark & Stormy Brownies

Ginger, lime and rum all come together to make these brownies a bit of a tastes sensation. A little bit unusual; a lot more-ish.

Brown Butter Blondies

Sometimes it’s best to let your ingredients do the talking. Browning butter brings out a delicious nutty flavour that’s the star of these simple blondies.

 

The best brownie recipes including Toblerone brownies, vegan coconut brownies, Mini Egg brownies and Dark & Stormy brownies

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On Being the Eldest Child

[Photo by Jenn Richardson]

Unsurprisingly, I think a lot about what our little baby will be like, and what his life might be like. I am boundlessly curious about the future, and an endless planner (even when I know there can be no such thing as planning for the future, not really). If we are lucky, he will be the eldest brother to a sibling or two, which is something I’ve been also thinking about a lot. I recently listened to the Dear Sugar episode on sibling rivalry, and a few comments they made really gave me pause for thought. 

I have always thought of myself as the quintessential eldest child; I have a brother who is younger than me by 2 years and a sister who is younger by 7. I don’t know if it is scientifically proven, but myth suggests that birth order can shape your personality, with eldest children tending to be high achieving, perfectionist Type As who have trouble admitting when they’re wrong or accepting criticism. Um… so far, so very, very me. 

With great power comes great responsibility, of course, because as the eldest child you are also cast into a surrogate parenting role. I’ve felt that very strongly in more recent years; with my family no longer the tidy unit it once was, I do feel more of a responsibility towards my siblings, to look after and look out for them (not that they really need it so much, they are adults after all). I remember speaking with a friend who is another eldest child about this very idea; when it comes to family trouble, it can sometimes feel as though your worry is doubled as the eldest, as not only are you struggling with the situation yourself, but also perhaps shouldering a greater part of the burden. I remember quite clearly not crying at my grandmother’s funeral; not because I wasn’t incredibly sad, but because I had one sibling sobbing on each shoulder and *someone* in that situation has to be the non-cryer. 

This is quite literally the latest photo I have with my siblings (and our hangers on) and it’s maybe 3 years old?! Note to self: take more photos. 

It is interesting how much stock we put into friendships and romantic relationships in comparison to those we have with our siblings (I’m sure the breadth of articles on the Internet about the former two would eclipse the latter by far) when in fact our sibling relationships are likely to be the longest relationships of our lives, if we have them. Our relationships with our siblings are a template for the relationships we have with others for the rest of our lives; through them we learn to negotiate, to compromise and what our ‘place’ in the world is. I know not everyone is as lucky as I am; I actually like and love my siblings despite, as well as because of, the fact that we share our genetics, and whilst I wouldn’t characterise our relationship as particularly close, they are still a central part of my life and I consider them often in the decisions I make. I don’t doubt that I am often replicating the role I take with my siblings in my other relationships, and I would be interested in whether my siblings do the same. 

One of the most interesting things they mentioned on the Dear Sugar podcast was that you don’t grow up in the same family as your siblings; whilst it sounds absurd, it is, of course, true. We have individual relationships even within our family, and the same scenario that seems wildly unfair to one sibling is likely to feel just or natural to another. It’s interesting to step outside of your own experience (in my case as the eldest child) to think about what those defining years of childhood might have felt like for the people sharing your home, but not your exact same view. Again, I am lucky that I don’t *think* that my parents favoured any of us in particular (my Mum always says that we are all her favourite children) and actively, in my eyes, discouraged sibling rivalry. My siblings and I are all quite different in personality, skills and interests, which certainly helps in that regard. 

Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how that dynamic plays out in my little family now – once baby arrives, and maybe when we add siblings to the mix. Are you a quintessential eldest/middle/younger/only child? I’d love to hear your stories, too!  

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Neutral Nursery Inspiration

(Photo Source: Tarina Lyell)

Now that we’ve got past the 20 week scan, and also almost finished our boring DIY bits in the house (just need some new carpet on the stairs now!), I get to start thinking about the fun stuff – like the nursery! Baby will be in with us for the first few months (we’re leaning towards the Snuzpod for our room) but I still want to get the nursery set up as much as possible. Partly because I have time on my hands now – a luxury I’m sure won’t always apply – and partly because we’ll need somewhere to put his *stuff* so it makes sense to get it sorted now. 

Throughout the house, we’ve got fairly neutral decor and I’d like the nursery – smallest room though it may be – to be the same. The walls are white and the carpet is grey so that’ll stay the same, but I do want to add some little pops of personality. I always shoot for minimalist, Scandi decor, but my love of colour just gets in the way (remind me to show you our pink & yellow living room when it’s finished). I love Tarina’s teal and peach theme (above) – it feels like the perfect balance of neutral with a bit of personality so I’ll definitely be on the lookout for a few bits in those shades. 

(Photo Source – Clockwise from Top Left: Unknown / Sunshine & Vodka / Line Melbye / Penelope Home / Little Look / J for Jen)

We won’t have a lot of space for furniture – probably just a cot and a chest of drawers with a changing mat on top – so it’s down to accessories to bring some life into the room. I love the idea of a cloud theme, and that hot-air-balloon mobile is absolutely darling. There will, of course, need to be space for books and we’ve got quite a lot of wall space for prints to play with, so I’ve been merrily pinning away with things I’d like to fill the room with. Of course, it’s easy to carry away with baby things – everything is so cute – so balancing style with cost is definitely going to be a factor (those cloud cushions are £50, so that’s not going to happen…), but I’m up for the challenge! 

 

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Double Chocolate Chip Shortbread Biscuits

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Biscuits // Amy Elizabeth

I’m a little bit in awe at the magic that happens when you combine butter, flour and sugar. That’s all it really takes to make these sweet, flaky biscuits – although I threw some leftover chocolate chips in, too, just because. On their own, they do an alright job – sweet sugar sprinkled over creamy porridge, or salty butter spread over hot toast are both pretty delicious, right? But when you combine them all together, they are so much more than the sum of their parts.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Biscuits // Amy Elizabeth

That’s the joy of baking; taking ingredients that are pretty ordinary on their own and whipping them up into something extraordinary. The same combination of ingredients, with a few simple tweaks to the way you treat them or what you add into the mix, can produce all manner of different, but equally delicious, things. Add an egg or two, and you have a light and fluffy sponge cake. Some cocoa powder or some icing sugar and you have a different set of biscuits entirely. Spread on some jam and cream, or grate in some lemon or orange, and that magic combination of butter, sugar and flour will show you what it can do. 

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Biscuits // Amy Elizabeth

Double Chocolate Chip Shortbread Biscuits
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Ingredients
  1. 110g golden caster sugar
  2. 250g softened butter
  3. 360g plain flour
  4. 100g mixed chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift in the flour and mix until you have a soft dough.
  2. Stir in the chocolate chips so they're evenly distributed. (You might need a bit of elbow grease for this bit, as the dough is relatively stiff).
  3. Turn out onto a floured surface and use your hands to bring together into a ball. Gently roll out to 1cm-ish thickness and cut out into rounds using a pastry cutter.
  4. Bring together any leftover dough and repeat the process of rolling & cutting out until you've used it all.
  5. Place the biscuits on two baking trays, lined with greaseproof paper, and sprinkle with a little extra sugar.
  6. Pop in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190C.
  7. Remove the biscuits from the fridge and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/

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Halfway There

So, here we are. Halfway there – or maybe even more, depending on when this little bubba decides to make its appearance. Or, should I say… his appearance! Yep, that’s right – we’re having a boy! Seeing his little face at the scan was honestly one of the most magical moments of my life – he was so cute, with a perfect little nose and he sucked his thumb basically the entire time. I already felt like a proud mama when the sonographer told us that he’d behaved perfectly so she could get all the measurements (even though I know he’s a foetus and doesn’t really ‘behave’ at all!), and it was a *huge* relief that everything seems to be going well and he’s right on track with his growth. 

You may remember that I’ve not been the biggest fan of pregnancy so far, but it’s true what they say that the second trimester is a million times better than the first. I actually feel like my normal self most of the time, and it’s kind of fun having a little bump out there. I’ve started to fit into proper maternity clothes now, and with legging-appropriate occasions the only ones on my calendar for as long as I can see, I’ve definitely embraced the comfort factor. It’s not all plain-sailing, of course; I’m still not able to do quite as much as I could pre-pregnancy, which is a little frustrating, and my skin has decided to fully rebel with a new, unsightly spot along my jawline every day (or so it feels). Also, I have a little confession… at first I was absolutely desperate to feel him moving around but now he’s really started to get his wriggle on, it’s making me feel a little, well, nauseous. I know it’s supposed to be another one of those magical moments, but the feeling of him rolling around in there is a lot like the feeling you have when you’ve got an upset stomach. Hopefully as he grows, he’ll have less space for the acrobatics and that will quell the nausea a little! I’m also signed up to an extra round of injections and blood tests because I’m O-Negative, so that’s something fun to look forward to. 

We’ve started to get ourselves a little bit organised, too. Hitting the halfway point has definitely given us a bit of a kick to start buying things and prepping everything for his arrival. We took advantage of an offer this weekend to buy a pram, and as I type this, Paul is out looking at a new car with his brother (a far better car-buying companion than me) as our beloved Mini is going back to the dealer at the end of the month and we need something with a little more boot space. Not even just for baby-related stuff – I love my car but a full week’s food shopping is a bit of a push to get in the back at the best of times. 

Now I’m just so curious about what he’ll be like. He’ll probably be blonde and blue-eyed, since we both were as babies, but will he be long and lanky like his Dad, or tiny like me? He’ll probably be talkative and stubborn, since we’re both those things now, but he could get any other combination of our traits – creative, practical, optimistic, funny, anxious, pragmatic, sociable… I just can’t wait to find out. Although there is the slight problem of the actual birth before we can get to that bit… The less said about that right now, the better, I think! 

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World Book Day: My Life in Books

I have always been a big reader, from insisting my parents reread Postman Pat to me for the thousandth time, to today when I would usually rather pick up a book than do almost anything else. Reading has been integral to my life and who I am, so it’s pretty natural that World Book Day brings me a lot of joy every year. I live for those round ups of kids dressed in their favourite character costumes (fun fact: I won first place for my Mildred Hubble costume when I was in Year 4). Understandably, after almost 30 years of reading, my tastes have changed somewhat, so I thought it might be fun to have a look back over my life in books… 

The Famous Five by Enid Blyton 

Enid Blyton was my first ‘favourite’ author, and I loved everything she wrote from The Magic Faraway Tree to Mallory Towers but it was The Famous Five that truly captured my imagination. Her books are full of adventure, whimsy and nostalgia, and I wanted to be a part of the gang so badly. I received the full set for my seventh (or maybe eighth?) birthday, and read them all cover to cover until it felt like I was friends with Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy, going off to their private island and foiling the plots of smugglers. 

The Lottie Project by Jacqueline Wilson 

Like all girls my age, I was a big fan of Jacqueline Wilson books and it’s hard to pick a true favourite as I’m sure at any one time I would have cited a different one – other runners up include The Illustrated Mum and Vicky Angel. But, although The Lottie Project is not one of her more famous novels, it really sticks out in my memory; as a school project, Lottie writes the fictitious diary of Charlotte, a Victorian maid, whose struggles mirror her own. It was the start of a love for historical fiction for me, for sure. 

The Harry Potter Series by J.K.Rowling 

I’m not sure I need to explain this one; which child of the 90s (or any other decade for that matter) doesn’t cite Harry Potter as their favourite books? My mum bought me the second one to read on our caravan holiday one summer, and I was immediately hooked, joining in with the hype with every release from there on out. Since then, my relationship with the books has deepened with every subsequent reading, and one of the things I am most looking forward to about having a baby is being able to share the magic with them. 

Cuckoo in the Nest by Michelle Magorian 

This book combines so many of my favourite things; theatre, historical fiction, seemingly-cranky-old-ladies-with-a-heart-of-gold… The protagonist Ralph has long been one of my favourite characters of all time, and whenever I pick up this book it’s like coming home for me. 

Cat by Freya North 

In my teens, I went through a big chick lit phase. I would devour as many books about glamorous women in magazine jobs leading complicated romantic lives as I could get my hands on. And, if I’m honest, I couldn’t tell you much about the seemingly hundreds of books I read during this time. I don’t mean to be disparaging, as I think ‘chick lit’ is an under-rated genre and is often dismissed out of hand – but I don’t think I was very discerning at the time, and would just race through them as quickly as I could. That said, there are a few notable exceptions to the rule, and Freya North’s first books, all named after their main characters, were some of my favourites – and I sometimes still think about them now, years later. As well as Cat, there were her sisters Pip and Fen, as well as Sally, Chloe and Polly, all of whom I loved equally – but I chose Cat because the book is set in France (in fact, it is about the Tour de France) and I read so many of these books whilst on holiday there with my friend Jess and her family, that it feels particularly fitting. 

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Oh, this book. It has my heart and will probably always be my favourite. It is heartbreaking and heartwarming in all the best ways, and it introduced me to so many concepts and ideas that still inform my thinking now. If you haven’t read it, you really must – it’s a tale of suffering but also of the redemptive power of love, female friendship and sisterhood. It’s an astounding tale, and I cry at the ending every single time. My copy is covered in notes from when I wrote my A-Level coursework on it, and it is one of my most prized possessions. 

Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti 

I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that this book changed my life. I’m not sure why I decided to order this from the library (perhaps because of books like The Color Purple?) but I’m so glad I did. I remember reading it and feeling both angry at the statistics and facts I was reading, and also relieved that it wasn’t just me that felt that anger. Having had this introduction to feminism, it became a central part of my life and has remained so ever since. I followed Jessica Valenti’s blog – Feministing – and from there discovered so many more blogs and books, which eventually lead to me doing my Masters in Gender, Sexuality and Queer Theory where my dissertation was on feminist blogging (what else?). 

Villette by Charlotte Bronte 

For an English student (by which I mean a student of English, not a student from England – although I am that, too), I have been pretty disparaging about classic literature in the past. I was scathing about Jane Austen during my A-Levels and was easily bored by school set texts. However, when I got to University that all changed and now I could wax lyrical about Austen and her ilk for hours on end – and it was reading Villette as part of a Victorian literature course that changed all that for me. Jane Eyre is usually thought of as Charlotte Bronte’s best novel, and although I now love it, it was the unusual character of Villette, the independent character of Lucy Snowe and the modern & pragmatic love story at its heart that turned my head and found a place in my heart. 

Atonement by Ian McEwan 

Alongside discovering a love for classical literature, I also delved into the realms of Booker Prize winners as part of my degree – and in doing so stumbled across Atonement by Ian McEwan, a truly incredible novel that affected me so deeply that I don’t think I can ever re-read it again. Ian McEwan is the king of surprise endings (I also love Sweet Tooth by him, which has a similarly incredible twist) and this one is all-consuming. I leant the book to a friend, and after a few days came down to find her sitting shock-still on the sofa – I knew immediately that she had finished it and was feeling all the feelings. It’s books like this that makes me think it’s not worth bothering to write, because it has already been done so perfectly (which I know is foolish, but seriously.. it’s amazing). 

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov 

For a while after University, I read almost nothing. After reading three to four full books a week for three years, and then diving into some deep feminist theory for another two years after that, I was ready for a break. But it was Lolita that clawed me back into the world of books (and I am so glad that it did). This book is understandably controversial, but it is a true work of art and I think the opening paragraph may be one of the most perfect pieces of writing in the entire English language (so much so that I have accidentally burnt it into my brain by reading it so many times… Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins and all that). I’m forever grateful to Nabokov for reminding me why I love reading, and for putting me back on the path of my favourite hobby. 

Yes Please by Amy Poehler 

It is so difficult for me to sum up the past couple of years of reading; after undertaking a challenge to read 100 books in a year (and then 101 books the year after) I discovered so many incredible books. You by Caroline Kepnes, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill all jump out as recent favourites, but it feels as though they’re all still so fresh in my mind. It’ll be a while before I’ll know which books really stuck with me from this time in my life, but I’m certain that Amy Poehler’s ‘Yes Please‘ will definitely be on the list. When I grow up, I want to be Amy Poehler, and I turn to this book time and again for wisdom, reassurance and a giggle or two. At times, it feels like a guiding light, which is a pretty magical thing for a book to be. 

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20-Minute Nutella & Cinnamon Rolls

20-Minute Nutella & Cinnamon Rolls // Amy Elizabeth

I love the ritual of baking. I like popping on a podcast and spending a few hours immersed in all things butter, sugar and flour. It is immensely satisfying to eat something that has been a true labour of love, whether it’s intricate decorations on a cake or the crust on a perfectly risen loaf of bread. Cinnamon rolls definitely come under this category of baking; they require some effort to get right – and, although they are worth every minute, sometimes you just don’t have the time. So, when I saw Carrie’s Cheat Cinnamon Rolls, I was, of course, intrigued. Whilst they’re not *quite* as good as the real deal, you can have them in your mouth in 20 minutes – which is a mega plus, if you ask me. I added some Nutella to mine (because why not?) which means you get the perfect mix of flaky pastry, gooey Nutella, sweet cinnamon and all in less time than it takes to watch an episode of Brooklyn 99. 

20-Minute Nutella & Cinnamon Rolls // Amy Elizabeth

20-Minute Nutella & Cinnamon Rolls 

Ingredients 

  • 1 pack pre-rolled puff pastry
  • 4 tbsp. Nutella 
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 2 heaped tsp. cinnamon 

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. 
  2. Take the puff pastry out of the fridge 10 minutes before you need to use it – this will make it easier to work with. Roll out flat on a chopping board and spread with the Nutella until covered in an even layer. 
  3. Mix together the butter, sugar and cinnamon to make a paste. Spread over the Nutella in another even layer. 
  4. Roll the pastry back up into a tube shape. At this point, you may want to pop the pastry back into the fridge to firm up for 20 minutes, but I find that if you work quickly and use a super sharp knife then you shouldn’t really have a problem. 
  5. Cut the pastry into 5cm rounds and pop them into a heatproof tray with some room between them (they’ll grow in the oven). 
  6. Bake for 15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. 

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February

Seeing our baby again at our 20 week scan today (after being very impatient about it for the rest of the month!) 

Flipping some chocolate chip pancakes for Pancake Day

Celebrating the wedding of Dave and Jenny in Sheffield – such a beautiful day (and a beautiful bride!). 

Baking banana bread and cookies. Going back to basics. 

Cuddling my friends’ babies to get my cuteness fix. 

Despairing at maternity formal wear… but finding something in the end. 

Wearing leggings more days than not. 

Stuffing my face at Dishoom – that cheese naan, you guys. 

Crying with laughter at Josie Long’s show, Something Better. 

Loving the (slightly) lighter mornings and lighter nights. 

Sending some Galentine’s Day cards and messages. The best day of the year! 

Getting my pregnancy yoga on. I’m all about those hippie vibes. 

Immersing myself in Season 2 of Buffy – my favourite season, for sure. 

Toasting my sister’s 20th birthday with Mexican food! 

Getting my craft on making some macrame plant holders with my colleagues at Stitch Up

Putting Tuna on a diet – she’s chubbed up immensely over the last year! 

Enjoying a Nando’s for our Valentine’s Day date. 

Publishing my first piece on Buzzfeed

Experiencing my first ever wedding fair and organising my first ever hen do as bridesmaid. 

Learning all about getting my Instagram on at The Blog Squad

Cooking up brunch for friends before a mammoth Reign session (have you seen it?). 

Planning some post-baby getaways – if only in my head, right now. 

Feeling the love! 

How about you? 

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