UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

Dark Chocolate & Ginger Muffins // Lucyy Bakes

As well as the endless batches of the Rhubarb Crumble Muffins I shared last week, I've also made one too many batches of my Dark Chocolate & Ginger Muffins. My baking hasn't been quite the 'success' as I'd like it to be recently. The first three batches looked questionable though thankfully the warming kick of ginger and rich chocolate stuck around making them all edible. Here my small but perfectly acceptable Ginger Muffins are balanced on my new Dassie  Mini Oak Cheese Board and Dassie Chevron Enamel Mug, housing a much needed Nutella hot chocolate - complete with generous helping of squirty cream. It's still far too hot in the South West for autumn-winter knits, I'm wishing away days until I can pull them all out and curl up with my hot chocolate, muffins and restart the Gilmore Girls. Nobody does Autumn-Winter better than the Gilmores and Stars Hollow.

Ingredients for Dark Chocolate & Ginger Muffins
6 tablespoons Sunflower Oil
225g Plain Flour
55g Cocoa Powder
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1 tablespoon Ground Ginger
Pinch of Salt
115g Soft Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons of diced Ginger in Syrup
100g Dark Chocolate (melted)
2 Eggs
220ml Milk

Recipe for Dark Chocolate & Ginger Muffins
1. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan assisted or GM 6 & line tray with 12 cases
2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, ground ginger and salt into a large bowl
3. Add in the brown sugar, diced ginger + syrup and melted chocolate
4. Beat together eggs, milk and oil before adding to the bowl
5. Mix together gently, fill cases and bake for 10-12 minutes or until firm to touch.

If you fancy giving my *second favourite* muffins a go I'd love to see the final result. I'm about to pour a second Nutella Hot Chocolate into my Enamel mug and scan through recipe books for my next Lucyy Bakes. Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.

Follow Up // Removal of Contraceptive Implant

With two previous posts proving to be a success on the topic of my contraceptive implant, I promised to follow through with my account of the removal and if I were to get a replacement. You can previous posts where I share a little history, the decision process and updates along the way.

With an implant to run out at the end of November this year, I decided to ring ahead a few months and book in for it to be replaced September 22nd. The expiry for my implant would be the 29th November. This time, I was told my surgery only fits them in the mornings and at the sister surgery as this requires my doctor, a nurse and the surgical suite. Booking my appointment was much easier than before, with only a 5 minute phone call compared to the 6 month run around they put me through before. There have been times where I've debated trying a new method, though with my periods now manageable and regular to 11am on the dot each month... I'd be silly to risk ruining everything. Its pretty incredible to now have periods a 10th of what they used to be. They can range from 3-5 days, with only the second day being my 'worst' and the 'worst' being a 10th of my olden days worst.

On the morning of my removal I decided to panic despite getting on fine with my first implant. Once in the room I did feel a little more at ease, though this time around I had both the Doctor and Nurse. When on the bed you need to place your arm behind you head for them to feel the underarm to locate the implant. Your arm is then numbed with local anaesthetic which causes a dull burning sensation as the liquid enters. This is all the pain you feel though. Next the nurse quickly cleans the area as I'd started to bleed - we aren't talking buckets guys. Then comes the removal and replacement. The Doctor cuts your arm with their little tool and lifts/pulls the implant out before injecting the new. They warn you may feel some 'tugging' and the first time around I didn't feel a thing. This time around I'm questioning if the anaesthetic was even working because the first time around we sat waiting, chatting about fashion and then I didn't feel a thing. This time I did feel a little 'pain', nothing worth screaming about. It stung as she cut a small line on my arm, then comes the warning of tugging where they use teeny tiny tweezers as they pull the implant out. Only when it left my arm did I let out an OUCH but once I'd OUCH'ed it was all over with and the new implant was to be injected it. It takes longer to explain the procedure than it does to do it - especially if they don't wait for the anaesthetic to kick in. Another short sting and the nurse was then sticking on paper stitches, the small cut is just a little bigger with a removal. Along came padding and a bandage while she let down the bed - totally unneeded but....The doctor then filled in a new card which you carry around which turned out to be a sticker which I stuck over my old card keep in my purse incase I'm ever rushed to hospital. 
an image of contraceptive implant bruising
Once over they mentioned they'd had a few difficult implants to pull out recently and were relieved to have such an easy one. Joking, it must have been because it has nowhere to hide in my tiny arms, I was on my way to grab some breakfast & hit Newlook for a few pieces I'd regretted not picking up. I'd happily go back for a removal in two-three years without the panic this time. It's not as pain free as the original fitting, though it's nothing to get worked up about as it's just like getting more injections. On my way over to Newlook my hand started to tingle due to the anaesthetic which I'm guessing decided to kick in late? My arm ached, though not as much as my first implant. I kept ordinary painkillers up to avoid a dead arm, along with keeping the bandage and dressing on until Tuesday while it healed as I'm quite the wriggler in my sleep - waking to a few twinges in the night. Wednesday I switched for an ordinary plaster, amazed at how tiny the cut is again and how much more bruising you get with a replacement. I will add that Monday evening I felt quite sleepy & unwell, which we all think is to do with the anaesthetic despite being just a local. I also had it fitted while on my period, which has ended as normal if not better.

Lastly, did I have any effects with my first implant? None, apart from occasionally smelling an item that wasn't at all present. My moods were sorted and the sickness no longer came each month. I could eat breakfast in the morning compared to a single bit of a cereal bar. Acne is controlled, I very rarely breakout. Headaches only appear when I'm overly tired or days with too much computer use. Weight. Weight is always the deciding point in contraception right? I don't think I've put any weight on and I hope I don't with my new implant. I have to battle with my body confidence every second of the day. At the time of getting my implant I'd started to lose weight, weight I didn't have to lose and went too small. I've now remained a 6-8, I've probably put a little back on from the early days due to eating better by not skipping meals & eating some absolute rubbish - so no effect of the implant. Pain is also a big decision to why I've continued with the method. I have no need for prescribed painkillers, only my pink Period Pain Nurofen's which despite views work well and faster than regular Ibuprofen. If you're debating trying out the implant I'd highly recommend it, if you don't get along the removal is just as straight forward. Like my previous posts; feel free to comment or email any questions. Lucyy x

February 2016 Update - I'm still using the implant, my removal and replacement were fine, I've written the blog post about it if you've followed along. At the moment I'm torn between getting it replaced with another implant or trying something new. I feel as if my body gets used to methods after a while and don't work the same. Last year was very stressful, none of us expected to lose my Grandma in the space of a few months. DR neglect, months in hospital, life saving surgery, cancer diagnosis and then moving her home for her last days.

What I'm trying to say is it was very stressful and some months I'd have two horrid, horrid periods. December, January and now February they've calmed to just one a month though they last a week and are heavier than the original implant. I'm still better than I was without any sort of method, I don't feel sick and my moods aren't as bad as they were - again stress makes us all cranky right? When I get a replacement OR try something new you can bet on a follow up post.

FOR NOW please check out Mia's blog post about her Implant Experience Csi beauty blog.

March - fast forward and after a battle with the receptionist I managed to get a telephone consultation where I have been prescribed Cerelle (similar to Cerazette) for 3 months to 'top up my implant'. My DR assured me this was the case though to come back at any time to see her for help, replacement or alternative method. I'm on my last month of cerelle, which I've only had one period on. I do feel quite sea sick though.

Rhubarb Crumble Muffins // Lucyy Bakes

an image of Rhubarb crumble muffins recipe
Recently we've been helping out a sweet little lady who keeps repaying us with my Dad's favourite, Rhubarb. With the amount of Rhubarb we've received you'd have thought we had eaten her out of the delicious crop, yet it keeps on arriving. This morning when pulling back my curtains I looked out to see another bag of Rhubarb hanging from the back garden gate. Knowing it could only be one thing, I started the search for new Rhubarb dishes to whip up, coming across various Rhubarb Crumble Muffins. If you're not lucky enough to have a lovely little lady can find the sweet vegetable in most freezer sections, already prepared for you - though it won't be as delicious as the mornings fresh cuttings. The cinnamon crumble topping is what makes the deliciously moist autumnal muffins special and with only two left I'll be whipping up more this weekend. 

Ingredients to make your own Rhubarb Crumble Muffins |
Muffin Mix | 175g Caster Sugar, 175g Rhubarb - chopped and diced, 2 tbsp Sunflower Oil, 1 Large Egg, 1 tsp Vanilla Extract, 125ml Buttermilk, 200g Plain Flour, 1 tsp Baking Powder, 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Crumble Topping | 50g Muscovado Sugar (I added another 10-20g), 50g Plain Flour, 25g Porridge Oats (I added another 20g), 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon, 50g Butter

How to make the Autumnal Rhubarb Crumble Muffins | 
1. Preheat your oven to 200C or 180C (fan) and line a 12 hole muffin tin
2. Mix caster sugar and diced rhubarb together before part cooking in the microwave for 5-8 minutes depending on the microwave. I didn't add any extra water
3. Whisk together the sunflower oil, egg, vanilla extract and buttermilk before pouring over the sugary rhubarb mixture
4. Next, add the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and stir well.
5. In a small bowl, mix together the muscovado Sugar, 50g plain flour, oats and cinnamon before adding the butter and rub in until 'clumpy'. 
6. Fill your 12 paper cases, then scatter with a thick layer of crumble mixture. This is where I decided the crumble mixture wasn't going to be enough and added extra oats and sugar.
7. Bake your muffins for 15-18 minutes, until golden and when tested, the stick comes out clean. Leave to cool enough, though don't let them go too cold before you tuck in.

Beauty Confidential Event Haul // Origins & Kiehls

an image of house of fraser beauty confidential haul
an image of origins plantscription power lifting cream
an image of origins plantscription power lifting cream
an image of kiehls midnight recovery concentrate
an image of kiehls midnight recovery concentrate
I've had quite the nightmare with my skin this summer, even heading into Autumn I'm still struggling to battle eruptions and tiredness. The breakouts have been pretty bad, almost as if my hormones are making up for being so kind to me through all the teenage years. When in reality it's most likely the effect of my implant running low (TMI?, you can expect my follow up very soon) and an appalling sleep cycle, as well as lack of me time.

Origins Plantscription Powerful Lifting Cream 50ml
Since receiving various Origins gift sets last Christmas I've soon accumulated a lot of love for the brand. Having yet to try any of the Plantscription range I couldn't wait to switch my current moisturiser (Origins - Ginzing) with the Powerful Lifting Cream. Designed for skin that has lost it's youthful looking shape due to age and gravity. I'm not the targeted market, having not entered the twenties for long, though I'm intrigued with the entire range having tried this. The formula contains three all important ingredients, Indian Commiphora to plump the skin and visibly restore lost definition, Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate and plump skin while Centaurium, again plumps, restores and gives skin "volume". If I continue to use this moisturiser will I ever have to worry about losing my baby face? Not only do we have a lot of plumping, the moisturiser remains Paraben, Phthalates, Mineral Oil, Paraffin and Synthetic Fragrance free. With incredibly dry skin, my skin has been drinking this rich moisturiser up thanks to it containing Shea and Mango Butters, no wonder it smells so delicious and not at all synthetic. Now that I've used this moisturiser for so long, it's more of an overnight moisturiser due to the thick consistency though come the dark, cold winter mornings where I'll have to face the cold, winds more from puppy walking I'll be thankful for this product in my routine. For now it's a night cream, or on a day my Khiels and Origins Ginzing won't do.

Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate 30ml
Another brand high up in my skincare recommendations is Kiehls. The Midnight Recovery Concentrate has been a product on my wish list for quite some time after reading so many reviews all praising this miracle oil. Having been through a rough patch with my skin I've been increasingly weary of the products and ingredients I'm putting on my skin. With very dry skin and now excessive breakouts I worried an oil would be too much, even if I only concentrated on particularly dry areas. Described as a replenishing Elixir of pure essential oils and distilled botanicals to visibly restore the appearance of skin by morning, I can say this truly is the miracle product those have raved about. Come morning the paraben, fragrance and mineral oil free product hasn't caused any more eruptions and my skin is glowing, yet not at all oily. The oil almost sinks in straight away, there's even less of a residue to my well loved Origins Drink Up Intensive, over night mask.
Did you make use of the event?
Disclaimer: press sample, for review consideration only, no payment received. see disclaimer page for more.
© Lucyy Writes

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